The history of adrenal hormones provides a fascinating insight into how the discovery of adrenal hormones transformed our understanding of homeostasis. Owing to the small size of the gland and its anatomical location, there was quite a disparity in its existence for a large part of the time. However, at the dawn of the 19th century, the discovery of microscopes paved the way to identify the glands. In a nutshell, the discovery of various hormones from the adrenal cortex and medulla has been revolutionary both in the understanding of normal physiological processes and their therapeutic uses. A review of existing literature from PubMed eventually carved this article in which evolution in the discovery of these hormones and major clinical aspects related to adrenal hormones is discussed. As always, each discovery found birth in someone's question and was eventually fully realized by cooperative teamwork and leadership. The mechanism of hormones’ action was identified through animal and human experimentation, while scientists demonstrated the structure of hormones using the conventional biochemical analysis. Mostly, diseases were identified as syndromes earlier than hormones.
Bishop PMF. The history of the discovery of Addison's disease. Proc R Soc Med 1950;43(1):35–42. DOI: 10.1177/003591575004300105
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.). Biographical Memoirs. Volume 71 [Internet]. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 1997 [cited 2020 March 25]. Available from: http://site.ebrary.com/id/10 055164.
Conn JW. Part I. Painting background. Part II. Primary aldosteronism, a new clinical syndrome, 1954. J Lab Clin Med 1990;116(2):253–267.
Conn JW. Presidential address. I. Painting background. II. Primary aldosteronism, a new clinical syndrome. J Lab Clin Med 1955; 45(1):3–17.
Denton DA, MacIntyre I. Sylvia Agnes Sophia Tait: January 8 1917 - February 28 2003. Biogr Mem Fellows R Soc 2006;52:379–399. DOI: 10.1098/rsbm.2006.0026
Simpson SA, Tait JF, Wettstein A, et al. Isolation from the adrenals of a new crystalline hormone with especially high effectiveness on mineral metabolism. Experientia 1953;9(9):333–335. DOI: 10.1007/BF02155834
Tait JF, Tait SA. A steroids memoir. A decade (or more) of electrocortin (aldosterone). Steroids 1988;51(3–4):213–250. DOI: 10.1016/0039-128x(88)90016-5
Rowntree LG, Greene CH. The treatment of patients with Addison's disease with the “cortical hormone” of swingle and pfiffner. Science 1930;72(1871):482–483. DOI: 10.1126/science.72.1871.482
Ingle DJ. Edward C. Kendall. Biogr Mem Natl Acad Sci 1974;47:249–290.
Philip S. Hench. Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1950. Cienc E Investig 1951;7(2):96.
Lloyd M. Philip Showalter Hench, 1896–1965. Rheumatol Oxf Engl 2002;41(5):582–584. DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/41.5.582
Fulton JF. Biography of Dr. Harvey Cushing. Ann Med Hist 1940;2(1):88.
Doyle NM, Doyle JF, Walter EJ. The life and work of Harvey Cushing 1869–1939: a pioneer of neurosurgery. J Intensive Care Soc 2017;18(2):157–158. DOI: 10.1177/1751143716673076
Medvei VC. The history of Cushing's disease: a controversial tale. J R Soc Med 1991;84(6):363–366.
Jacobs N, Bossy M, Patel A. The life and work of Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666–1723)–Popping ears and tingling tongues. J Intensive Care Soc 2018;19(2):161–163. DOI: 10.1177/1751143717731229
Valeri A, Bergamini C, Bellantone R, et al. Surgery of the Adrenal Gland. Springer Science & Business Media; 2012. 200 p.
A case of sexual ambiguity, 1865. The Scientist Magazine® [Internet]. Available from: https://www.the-scientist.com/foundations/a-case-of-sexual-ambiguity-1865-35073(Accessed March 26 2020).
Continuing saga of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Oxford Academic [Internet]. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/90/6/3795/2870630(Accessed March 26 2020).
Adolf Butenandt - Biographical [Internet]. Available from: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/1939/butenandt/biographical/ (Accessed March 25 2020).
Akhtar M, Akhtar ME. Adolf Friedrich Johann Butenandt March 24 1903–18 January 1995. Biogr Mem Fellows R Soc 1998;44:78–92.
Parascandola J. John J. Abel and the early development of pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University. Bull Hist Med 1982;56(4):512–527.
Yamashima T. Jokichi Takamine (1854–1922), the samurai chemist, and his work on adrenalin. J Med Biogr 2003;11(2):95–102. DOI: 10.1177/096777200301100211
John Jacob Abel | Encyclopedia.com [Internet]. Available from: https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/medicine/medicine-biographies/john-jacob-abel (Accessed March 26 2020).
Oliver G, Schäfer EA. The physiological effects of extracts of the suprarenal capsules. J Physiol 1895;18(3):230–276. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.1895.sp000564
Trumper M. Bodily changes in pain, hunger, fear and rage: an account of recent researches into the function of emotional excitement. Psychol Clin 1930;19(3):100–101.
West BJ. The wisdom of the body; a contemporary view. Front Physiol 2010;1:1. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2010.00001
Blumenthal SA. Earl Sutherland (1915–1974) [corrected] and the discovery of cyclic AMP. Perspect Biol Med 2012;55(2):236–249. DOI: 10.1353/pbm.2012.0017
Shafrir E. Julius Axelrod, Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler–Nobel Prize winners for the discovery of mechanisms of nerve signal transmission. Isr J Med Sci 1994;30(11):869. DOI: 10.1353/pbm.2012.0017
Rubin RP. Hermann (Hugh) Blaschko (1900–1993): his fundamental contributions to biochemical pharmacology and clinical medicine. J Med Biogr 2019;27(3):179–183. DOI: 10.1177/0967772017703091
Axelrod J. Metabolism of epinephrine and other sympathomimetic amines. Physiol Rev 1959;39:751–776. DOI: 10.1152/physrev.195 22.214.171.1241
Cech P. Nobel Prize laureates. Julius Axelrod (1912–2004). Cas Lek Cesk 2012;151(2):119–120.