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Otto Loewi. Portrait of Otto Loewi (1873-1961), German pharmacologist. Loewi worked with Henry Dale from 1901 and showed that a chemical released from the end of a nerve stimulated contractions in an isolated frog heart. In 1921 he showed that this substance could be taken from one heart to stimulate another. He identified this muscle- stimulating chemical as acetylcholine. Loewi also showed that the action of acetylcholine was prolonged if drugs were administered that prevented its breakdown by the body. This theory has been the basis of treatments for muscular dystrophy, a degenerative muscle disease. Loewi shared the 1936 Nobel prize for medicine with Dale.
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