48 p.G.F21X stimulated the and resulted in Abortion was complete in eight women and two required manual removal of the placenta (see table). The inj...

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p.G.F21X stimulated the

and resulted in Abortion was complete in eight women and two required manual removal of the placenta (see table). The injection-abortion interval ranged from 4 hours to 18 hours, with a mean of 11-4 hours. The prostaglandins contained in 0-1-0-5 ml. of solution were administered through an epidural catheter into the amniotic cavity, which was connected to a pen recorder and used to monitor uterine activity. The procedure does not require the withdrawal of any amniotic fluid. Four women had nausea and three vomited. Otherwise the procedure was free from side-effects. It seems that prostaglandins administered by this route produce a local action on the uterus.

abortion in every

uterus to contract


Makerere University Medical School, P.O. Box 7072,

Kampala, Uganda



SIR,-Professor Jelliffe’s letter (June 12, p. timely reminder of the considerable value of leafy vegetables in the diet of young children in areas where nutrition walks a tightrope.

1245) is a dark-green and others Indeed, it

may well be relevant for us all. But I fear a revival of the Popeye films would not be helpful, for, if my memory serves me right, Popeye’s spinach came not from the garden or the bush-but from a tin. The object of the series was the promotion of the " cult of the can ", which Dr. Jelliffe rightly deplores. Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester 13.


FATTY-ACID METABOLISM IN MIGRAINE SIR,-The report by Dr. Hockaday and her colleagues1 did not include a discussion of the mechanisms by which elevated levels of free fatty acids might contribute to a migraine headache in a susceptible individual. Dr. Camenga and I2 reported the dramatic cessation of frequently recurring migraine in a man with ptimary hyper-pre-beta-lipoproteinxmia following clofibrate administration. We suggested that hyperlipoproteinxmia or lipxmia might adversely affect the vasomotor instability of migraine patients via increased blood viscosity or erythrocyte aggregation. The elevated free-fatty-acid levels seen in Dr. Hockaday’s patients undoubtedly produce their effect by other means. The observations of the Oxford group increase the possibility that our hypotheses are not valid. Brookline,


Massachesetts 02146

FLUORESCENCE AND Y TRANSLOCATION IN XX MALES and his colleagues (April 24, absence of observed bright fluorescence in the cells of XX males could be explained by a diminution in fluorescence when informative segments of the Y chromosome are translocated on other chromosomes-for instance, on an X, as has been proposed to explain the XX male. Presumably in this context the informative segment referred to is that bearing the gene or genes responsible for testicular differentiation, and we would p.

1. 2.

SIR,-Professor Fraccaro 858) suggest that the

Hockaday, J. M., Williamson, D. H., Whitty, C. W. M. Lancet, 1971 i, 1153. Lenton, A., Camenga, D. Neurology, Minneap. 1969, 19, 963.

like to draw attention to a relevant patient we have reported.1 Gonadal differentiation in this case had produced poorly formed ovotestes which we assumed to be the result of loss of the terminal portion of the short arm of the Y chromosome, for the patient was a chromosomal mosaic XO/X dicentric Y. Despite this deletion, in cells containing the dicentric Y, bright fluorescence of both sets of long arms seems to be quite normal. Section of Medical Genetics, Pædiatric Department, ELIZABETH J. IVES University of Saskatchewan, K. L. YING. Canada. Saskatoon,

ANTITUMOUR ACTIVITY OF L-ASPARAGINASE AND RIFAMPICIN SIR,-Dr. Adamson2 reports that L-asparaginase fails to inhibit virus-induced lymphomas in mice, but rifampicia hinders the growth of Walker carcinoma. These statements may be carried a few steps further. A murine lymphoma (protocol no. 620)3 is antigenic in the mouse strain of its origin (TIMCO Swiss mice) on account of Rauscher virus particles budding from the cell membrane. Young adult TIMCO Swiss mice are capable of rejecting inocula consisting of less than 106 lymphoma cells. In mice treated with L-asparaginase intraperitoneally, subcutaneous inocula of this lymphoma grew faster and killed the mice earlier in comparison with untreated controls inoculated with the same number of lymphoma cells! Also, mice treated with L-asparaginase failed to develop pyroninophilic cells in the spleen upon intravenous injection of erythroagglutinin-free phytohxmagglutinin.4 Thus, due to immunosuppression, the L-asparaginase-resistant lymphoma was allowed to run an accelerated course. Similar observations were reported earlier from another

laboratory.55 Rifampicin was not inhibitory to spleen focus formation by Rauscher virus in mice, but N-demethylrifampicin acted as a weak inhibitor.4 Young adult TIMCO Swiss mice (10 g.) were given intravenously a Rauscher virus preparation used after storage in dry ice for 2 years, and were treated by daily intraperitoneal injections of 3 mg, N-demethylrifampicin. In groups of control mice inoculated with the leukaemia virus and treated with sodium bicarbonate solution (the diluent of N-demethylrifampicin), spleen foci averaged from 6’4 to 9-8 per spleen. Irigroups of mice receiving virus and treatment with N-demethylrifampicin, the spleen foci averaged 1-4-2-8 per spleen. This minor difference, however, gained significance in the following experiment. New groups of young adult TIMCO Swiss mice were inoculated intraperitoneally with 10-2 dilutions of cell-free spleen extracts of mice inoculated with Rauscher virus and treated with N-demethylrifampicin, or of mice inoculated with Rauscher virus and treated with sodium bicarbonate only. Mice inoculated with spleen extracts of Rauscher virus-infected mice rapidly developed leukaemia and showed no cytotoxic or virus-neutralising antibodies in their sera. Mice inoculated with spleen extracts of Rauscher virus-infected and Ndemethylrifampicin-treated mice developed leukaemia only occasionally and blood sera of all healthy mice in this group contained cytotoxic and virus-neutralising antibodies (see table). Thus, in this experiment, the leukaemia virus grown in the presence of N-demethylrifampicin behaved 1. 2. 3. 4.


Ying, K. L., Ives, E. J. Cytogenetics (in the press). Adamson, R. H. Lancet, 1971, i, 398. Sinkovics, J. G., Drewinko, B., Thornell, E. ibid. 1970, i, 139. Sinkovics, J. G. in Research Report 1969-71, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at Houston, Houston, Texas. Schulten, H. K., Giraldo, G., Boyse, E. A., Oettgen, H. F. Lancet, 1969, ii, 644.