Stimulation of Bile Secretion in Chick Embryos by Cortisone


IN some preliminary experiments it was observed that the administration of cortisone to twelve-day old chick embryos caused their gall bladders to become distended and bile to flow prematurely into their intestines. Accordingly a substantial experiment was performed to confirm or deny these preliminary findings, and since there are certain difficulties associated with obtaining either rapid or complete absorption of substances injected into chick embryos, comparatively large doses of cortisone were employed. A dose of 5 mgm. of cortisone (‘Cortone acetate’) was given to each of sixty White Leghorn chick embryos on the twelfth day of incubation, either by injecting it into the yolk or on to the chorioallan-toic membrane. For controls, seventy-five embryos were similarly injected with the same volume of normal saline. The eggs were harvested on the fifteenth day of incubation. The diameters and the lengths of the gall bladders were measured with calipers and their volumes were determined by assuming them to be cylinders. Observations were made in each instance on whether or not bile had reached the intestine to colour it green.


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MOSBAUGH, M., HAM, A. Stimulation of Bile Secretion in Chick Embryos by Cortisone. Nature 168, 789 (1951).

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