Most of Robertson’s investigations into the role of the pituitary gland in growth were carried out before it had been proved that the pituitary contained a growth-stimulating hormone. In his search for a pituitary constituent which would control growth, he isolated a lipoid material which he called Tethelin.
Tethelin is a pituitary extract which can control growth. It has been found to be of great value in the treatment of slow-healing wounds and ulcers.
Tethelin is not the pituitary growth hormone which is known to endocrinologists today, but in Robertson’s experiments it did inhibit growth in mice and significantly prolonged their life span. Later experimental results proved to be less successful.
Robertson patented the process of manufacture of Tethelin. The proceeds of its sale were to be devoted to scientific research at the University of California. Tethelin has been used with success in America.
1. Scientific communications 25th Meeting 6 July 1923. Medical Sciences Club. Relating the effects of Tethelin on mice.
2. ‘Detailed instructions for the manufacture of Tethelin’ left to his wife “in the event of my death”
3. The properties, uses and application of Tethelin: the growth controlling principle of the anterior lobe of the pituitary body isolated by T. Brailsford Robertson (Philadelphia: H.K. Mulford Co., 1918?)