Histological changes in the kidney produced by the action of drugs
Apart from physiological investigations numerous re- searches both pathological and pharmacological have been made on the action of drugs on the .kidneys. These organs, being the main excretory glands of the body, occupy a peculiar position with regard to the action of drugs. Every or nearly every substance ab- sorbed into the blood is excreted wholly or in part by then, consequently they are not unfrequently act- ed upon, and, if the substance be present in large amount, they may undergo considerable change.Some particular drugs, especially of the irritant class, have a marked influence, and in large doses cause congestion and inflammation; but others, whose predominant action is elsewhere, frequently affect the kidneys also. It is not difficult to understand why this is so. At the present day the tendency is to regard the action of drugs, broadly speaking, as a general one, and doubtless in the majority of instances this is in the main correct; for once a drug is in solution in the blood it bathes all tissues alike, and the difference between the fundamental living basis of different cells is not so great that the majority of drugs can demonstrate it. In other words the selective action of most drugs simply means preponderating effect. When excessive doses of drugs are given their action becomes widely diffuse, they tend to become protoplasmic poisons and affect most of the tissues. The kidneys owing to their position are readily affected; but it must be admitted that they possess a peculiarly resistant structure. The renal cells may however, if Albrechts°z investigations are correct, be modified by comparatively simple means, for after the inject- ion of strong saccharine solutions into the intestine he found distinct changes in the renal cells on the following day.