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      Renal Physiology between Two Wars: The Contributions of Dr. Harvey Lester White


      American Journal of Nephrology

      S. Karger AG

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          Harvey Lester White (1896–1977) graduated from Washington University (St. Louis) School of Medicine and subsequently spent his entire professional career in the School’s Department of Physiology. White’s interest in the function of the kidney was evident early in his academic career when he pioneered research related to renal physiology. His first papers dealt with studies of renal tubular function (1923). He performed what appear to represent the first micropuncture studies in the kidney of Necturus maculosus (1926) and thus confirmed the observations of Wearn and Richards regarding glomerular filtration. Through these studies, he was the first to show that glucose reabsorption occurs in the proximal tubules of Necturus. It also appears that White et al. were the first to demonstrate that volume expansion increases bicarbonate excretion in dogs (1926). He studied the influence of posture on renal ‘activity’ in man (1926). Intracapsular pressure determinations in Necturus kidney (1928) were done using micropuncture techniques. White and co-workers presented (1933) a comparison of clearances of creatinine and various sugars confirming the work of Jolliffe, Shannon and Smith (1932) who had proposed the clearances of non-metabolizable sugars to be a measure of glomerular filtration. Between 1932 and 1936, in an effort to better understand the process of glomerular filtration, he began a series of studies on streaming potentials, surface conductance, electro-endosmosis and other related topics. In 1937, White began work on yet another aspect of renal physiology – endocrine influences on renal function. He would immerse himself in these investigations throughout the remainder of his scientific career. We hope that this account will reveal at least a small dimension of the man and his contributions to renal physiology.

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          Author and article information

          Am J Nephrol
          American Journal of Nephrology
          S. Karger AG
          July 2002
          27 June 2002
          : 22
          : 2-3
          : 180-185
          Department of Medicine, Renal Division, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., USA
          63758 Am J Nephrol 2002;22:180–185
          © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Figures: 1, References: 42, Pages: 6
          Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/63758
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