IN THE COURSE of the last few years DL ethionine, an analogue of methionine, has been shown to have effects on the pancreas and some other organs.* One of its principal effects on the pancreas is to diminish the number of zymogenic granules and also the amount of ribonucleic acid in the cytoplasm of the acinary cells. The drug administered to rats for more than 15 consecutive days leads to pancreatic atrophy,3,4 a fact that aroused suspicion that it might suppress enzyme secretion, as Kaiser and Grossman13 and Almeida and Grossman demonstrated in dogs after giving them DL ethionine for several consecutive days.
To be useful in the treatment of acute pancreatitis, a drug that inhibits pancreatic secretion would have to act rapidly, in a few hours. With this in mind, Alvizouri et al2 tried giving a single dose of ethionine, with unsatisfactory results: pancreatic secretion was