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Thesis (Ph.D.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1938. Department of Biochemistry.


Copyright 1938, the author. Used by permission.


This dissertation studies the factors necessary for the prevention or cure of nutritional muscular dystrophy in rabbits. All of the factors are present in the acetone extracts of wheat germ and cottonseed meal, although in the latter apparently not in adequate amounts. A fractionation of wheat germ into its fat-soluble and water-soluble components has been carried out. The fat-soluble material delays the onset of dystrophy somewhat, but the water-soluble portion, when fed either as an extract of the wheat germ or as the fat-solvent extracted residue, permits the appearance of the disease. However, when the two extracts are combined and fed to rabbits with severe dystrophy, the animals recover quickly and appear quite normal. Results similar to those found by combining the fat-soluble and water-soluble fractions of wheat germ were obtained when the latter fraction was replaced by yeast. All the concentrates found effective in the treatment of dystrophy probably contain most or all of the B factors now recognized and other water-soluble materials besides.

The collagen content of the gastrocnemius, biceps, femoris, and triceps brachii was determined in a number of growing rabbits. Rabbits in which muscle dystrophy has reached an advanced condition have 2 to 2.5 times as much collagen in the muscles as the control animals. When the animals are cured of the dystrophy, the collagen content of the muscles regresses. The return to the normal condition was much more rapid in the biceps femoris than in the triceps brachii in these animals.

The lipomatosis occurring dystrophic process has been studied. Entire animals, normal and dystrophic, were analyzed for total lipid, lipid-P and cholesterol. The results indicate the possibility that in dystrophy we are dealing with an actual synthesis of cholesterol.

Advisor: Sergius Morgulis