Nomenclature of Pituitary Principles


I AGREE with Dr. F. W. Landgrebe1 that the suffix trophic is inappropriate in application to all the known pituitary principles, but I cannot accept the argument that the hitherto accepted suffix tropic is unsatisfactory. It is true that τρéπω means turn, but the meanings direct or change also exist and provide a satisfactory basis for the use of the suffix tropic as descriptive of those pituitary principles which control or change other tissues or glands. The multiplication of names in a field in which the terminology is already plethoric is bound to lead to confusion, and I would urge that we retain the original suffix tropic as a general one to denote those pituitary substances which influence or change other tissues, irrespective of their mode of action. The growth of our knowledge of the nature and action of these substances will no doubt necessitate terminological reclassification, but perhaps in the future, as well as at the present time, the suffix tropic may be retained as a general one denoting those hypophyseal principles which influence, in a general manner, other glands and tissues.

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YOUNG, F. Nomenclature of Pituitary Principles. Nature 148, 345 (1941) doi:10.1038/148345c0

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