An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

16018 entries, 14076 authors and 1941 subjects. Updated: July 14, 2024

MAGENDIE, François

15 entries
  • 9578

Examen de l'action de quelques végétaux sur la moelle épinière. Lu a l'Institut, le vingt-quatre avril 1809.

Bull. De la Soc. Philomat., I, 368-405., 1809.

In 1809 Magendie presented to the Académie des Sciences and to the Société Philomatique the results of his first experimental work, which he carried out in collaboration with the botanist and physician Alire Raffeneau-Delille. In a series of experiments on various animals the two investigators studied the toxic action of several botanic drugs, particularly upas, nux vomica, and St.-Ignatius's bean. These experiments marked the beginning of experimental pharmacology. They were the first experimental comparisons of the similar effects produced by drugs of different botanical origin.

Magendie believed that the toxic or medicinal action of natural drugs depends on the chemical substances they contain, and that it  be would to obtain these substances in the pure state. As early as 1809 he suspected the existence of strychnine, later isolated, in accord with his predictions, by Pierre Joseph Pelletier  in 1819. Moreover, in 1817, in collaboration with Pelletier, Magendie discovered emetine, the active principle of the root of Carapichea ipecacuanha or ipecac.

See also Magendie's follow-up paper: Mémoire sur les organes de l'absorption chez les mammifères. Lu à l'Institut, le sept Août 1809.

Digital facsimile of the offprint of the April 1809 paper from BnF Gallica at this link.

Subjects: PHARMACOLOGY, PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Botanic Sources of Single Component Drugs › Ipecacuanha, TOXICOLOGY
  • 985

Mémoire sur le vomissement.

Paris: Crochard, 1813.

Physiologists still consult Magendie’s classic description of the physiology of deglutition and vomiting. Magendie proved, against the current theory of Haller, that the stomach was passive rather than active in vomiting. This was essentially correct; however Magendie did fail to observe the active role of the plyloric end of the stomach. English translation in Ann. Phil., London, 1813, 1, 429-38.

Subjects: GASTROENTEROLOGY › Anatomy & Physiology of Digestion
  • 985.1

Mémoire sur l’usage de l’epiglotte dans la déglutition …

Paris: Méquignon-Marvis, 1813.

Magendie showed that the epiglottis is not necessary for swallowing, which disproved the accepted doctrine that the epiglottis was necessary to cover the glottis to prevent food from entering the trachea.

Subjects: GASTROENTEROLOGY › Anatomy & Physiology of Digestion
  • 1041.1
  • 597.1

Précis élémentaire de physiologie. 2 vols.

Paris: Méquignon-Marvis, 18161817.

The first modern physiology textbook, in which doctrine gave way to simple, precise descriptions of experimental facts. Vol. 2 contains Magendie’s classic demonstration of the importance of nitrogenous food, or protein, in the food supply of mammals. In the course of his experiments on dogs fed non-nitrogenous substances, Magendie also induced the first experimental cases of what would later be called an avitaminosis (specifically, lack of vitamin A.) Translated into English by John Revere as A summary of physiology, Baltimore, Edward J. Coale & Co., 1822.

Digital facsimile of the 1822 edition from at this link.

Subjects: GASTROENTEROLOGY › Anatomy & Physiology of Digestion, NUTRITION / DIET › Vitamins, PHYSIOLOGY
  • 1843
  • 5182

Mémoire sur l’émétine, et sur les trois espèces d’ipecacuanha.

J. gén. Méd. Chir. Pharm., 59, 223-31, 1817.

Isolation of emetine. It was not until a century later that Vedder demonstrated its value in the treatment of amoebiasis. Also during 1817 Magendie and Pelletier published "Recherches chimiques et physiologiques sur l’ipécacuanha," Ann. Chim. Phys. (Paris), 4, 172-85. 




Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Amoebiasis, PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Botanic Sources of Single Component Drugs › Ipecacuanha
  • 598

Mémoires sur le mécanisme de l’absorption chez les animaux à sang rouge et chaud.

J. Physiol. exp. path., 1, 1-17, 18-31, 1821.

Magendie, the pioneer of experimental physiology in France, demonstrated the absorption of fluids and semisolids to be a function of the blood-vessels, as well as of the lymphatics. He was the founder, in 1821, of the Journal de physiologie expérimentale.

  • 1846

Formulaire pour la préparation et l’emploi de plusieurs nouveaux médicamens, tels que la noix vomique, la morphine, etc.

Paris: Méquignon-Marvis, 1821.

Magendie was the pioneer of experimental physiology in France. His Formulaire introduced into medical practice several of the newly discovered alkaloids, notably morphine, veratrine, brucine, piperine, emetine, as well as quinine and strychnine. Digital facsimile of the 1821 edition from BnF Gallica at this link. Translated into English from the third French edition with an introduction and notes by Robley Dunglison, Philadelphia, 1824. Digital facsimile of the 1824 edition from the U. S. National Library of Medicine at this link.

Subjects: PHARMACOLOGY › Pharmacopeias › Dispensatories or Formularies
  • 1256

Expériences sur les fonctions des racines des nerfs rachidiens.

J. Physiol. exp. path., 2, 276-79, 1822.

Magendie definitely discovered that the anterior root is motor and that the dorsal root is sensory, although Romberg, Flourens, Sherrington, and others credited the discovery to Charles Bell. In this paper Magendie announced that “section of the dorsal root abolishes sensation, section of ventral roots abolishes motor activity, and section of both roots abolishes both sensation and motor activity” (Cranefield, No. 1588.9). This discovery has been called “the most momentous single discovery in physiology after Harvey”. This work was confirmed by Müller in 1831 (No. 1259). For a translation of the paper, see J. F. Fulton’s Selected readings in the history of physiology, 2nd ed., 1966, pp. 280-85.

Subjects: NEUROSCIENCE › NERVOUS SYSTEM › Peripheral Nerves / Nerve Impulses, NEUROSCIENCE › Neurophysiology
  • 1256.1

Expériences sur les fonctions des racines des nerfs qui naissent de la moelle épinière.

J. Physiol. exp. path., 2, 366-71, 1822.

Further experiments, including, most probably, “the first use of strychnine as part of a study of the localization of function in the nervous system as well as being a very early example of the rational use of a known property of a drug as a tool in physiological investigation”(Cranefield, No.1588.9).

Subjects: NEUROSCIENCE › NERVOUS SYSTEM › Peripheral Nerves / Nerve Impulses, NEUROSCIENCE › Neurophysiology
  • 1392

Mémoire sur un liquide qui se trouve dans le crâne et le canal vertebral de l’homme et des animaux mammifères.

J. Physiol. exp. path., 5, 27-37; 7, 1-29, 66-82, 1825, 1827.

First clear description of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Subjects: NEUROSCIENCE › NERVOUS SYSTEM › Brain, including Medulla: Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • 2217

Leçons sur les phénomènes physiques de la vie. 4 vols.

Paris: J.-B. Baillière, 18361838.

Magendie, pioneer experimental physiologist, regarded pathology as only a modification of physiology, “medicine the physiology of the sick man”. By him clinical medicine was reconstructed on physiological lines.

Subjects: Medicine: General Works, PHYSIOLOGY
  • 2585

Lectures on the blood, and on the changes which it undergoes during disease: Delivered at the College of France in 1837-8.

Philadelphia: Harrington, Barrington & Haswell & New Orleans: John J. Haswell & Co., 1839.

Pp. 244-49: Magendie showed that secondary or subsequent injections of egg/albumin caused death in rabbits who had tolerated an initial injection. This was the first experiment in anaphylaxis, though Jenner in 1798 had observed the phenomenon in various inoculations. These lectures were delivered at the Collège de France in 1837-38.

First published in English in the London Lancet, between the 29th of September, 1838, and the 16th of March, 1839. This is the first edition in book form.

"Lecture IX includes Magendie's description of cateterizing the right atrium as part of an experiment. This precedes his protegé Claude Bernard's use of the technique, has has been described by historians. Magendie explained, 'I now tie the lower end of the vessel, and proceed to make the same experiment; by way of comparison, on the venous system. The jugular has been laid bare. We must, in the case of this vessel, take some precautions that would have been useless when we acted on an artery....I have, therefore, selected a tube for the present experiment sufficiently long to reach into the thorax, as far as the vena cava superior, or even as the right auricle; while introducing it I heard a slight sibilus; my assistant also detects a strange sound in the chest; it is probably that a little air entered into the tube during inspriation, aslo reached the right cavities of the heart. This accident will, probably, not interfere materially with the progress of the experiment. The mercury marks, as before 65-75 mill. I fill the syringe, but with much greater difficulty than from the carotid; I am obliged to raise the piston forcibily in order to get the blood into the body of the instrument, whereas, in the former experiment, the impulse of the heart was sufficient to produce that effect.' This quotation from p. 85 documets Magendie's pioneering attempt to place a catheter in the right atrium. Claude Bernard would extend this technique under Magendie's supervision in 1844. Bernard's work culminated in a detailed description of the techniques to cathererize both sides of the heart in animals. See R. E. Siegel, 'Vascular catheterization during the 19th century: Claude Bernard's studies in animal heat,' Surgery, 55 (1964) 595-601" (W. Bruce Fye).

Digital facsimile from at this link.


Subjects: ALLERGY › Anaphylaxis, CARDIOLOGY › CARDIOVASCULAR PHYSIOLOGY, CARDIOLOGY › Interventional Cardiology › Cardiac Catheterization, HEMATOLOGY
  • 1397

Recherches physiologiques et cliniques sur le liquide céphalo-rachidien ou cérébro-spinal. 1 vol. and atlas.

Paris: Méquignon-Marvis, 1842.

“Foramen of Magendie” described.

Subjects: NEUROSCIENCE › NERVOUS SYSTEM › Brain, including Medulla: Cerebrospinal Fluid, Neurophysiology
  • 11666

Voyage scientifique à Naples avec M. Magendie en 1843.

Paris: B. Dusillion, 1844.

Digital facsimile from at this link.

Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Italy, VOYAGES & Travels by Physicians, Surgeons & Scientists
  • 1588.14

The way in and the way out. François Magendie, Charles Bell and the roots of the spinal nerves. With a facsimile of Charles Bell’s annotated copy of his Idea of a new anatomy of the brain. Edited by Paul Cranefield.

Mount Kisco, NY: Futura Publishing, 1974.

An annotated bibliography of the literature documenting the history of this controversy together with reproductions of the texts of the crucial papers. See Nos. 1254-1259.

Subjects: ANATOMY › Neuroanatomy › History of Neuroanatomy, NEUROLOGY › History of Neurology, NEUROSCIENCE › Neurophysiology, Neuroanatomy, PHYSIOLOGY › History of Physiology