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PUSHPAMALA BIDWAI and S. R. BAWA

Recently, cells showing cytochemical reactions which differ from those of the normal cells of the seminiferous tubules and which appear to resemble degenerating cells have been described in mammalian testes subjected to hyperthermic shock or treated with alkylating agents (Steinberger & Dixon, 1959; Steinberger, 1962; Chowdhary & Steinberger, 1964). Chowdhary & Steinberger (1970) suggested that the appearance of PAS-positive material in the cytoplasm of the degenerating spermatocytes followed by pycnosis of their nuclei was the expression of the metabolic damage caused by hyperthermic shock. These authors also described another type of cell degeneration in testes exposed to heat treatment at 43° to 45°C when the spermatid nuclei revealed classical pycnotic changes before the appearance of abnormal cytochemical reactions.

We have observed degenerating cells with PAS-positive cytoplasm in the seminiferous tubules of the

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G. S. GUPTA and S. R. BAWA

The activity of seminal vesicle and prostate is known to be under the control of testosterone produced by the testis. Lindner & Mann (1960) described a significant correlation between the testosterone content of bull testes and the weight of seminal vesicles and their fructose and citric acid contents. In rats and rabbits, it was shown that the seminal fructose disappears after castration and the administration of testosterone leads to the reappearance of fructose in prostates and coagulating glands (Mann, 1964). Similiar correlations between the action of administered testosterone and the level of acid phosphatase and citric acid in semen have been observed by various workers (Mann, 1964). However, reports on the effects of X-irradiation on biosynthesis of androgens by testicular tissue in vivo and in vitro are not established; conflicting reports are found in literature
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G. S. GUPTA and S. R. BAWA

Our knowledge of the effects of ionizing radiation on the biochemical processes of testes and epididymides is meagre. Enzymatic studies of reproductive organs have been described (Ito, 1966; Gupta & Bawa, 1969), but the immediate effect of radiation in cell injury has been related to the curtailment of biosyntheses of nucleic acids and alterations in their chemical configuration. The events preceding the decrease of nucleic acid syntheses and other metabolic processes during irradiation are not understood. This communication describes the effects of localized γirradiation on phosphatases and their probable rôle in the regulatory mechanisms in the testes and epididymides.

Thirty, normal, white albino rats, weighing 140 to 200 g, were separated to form seven groups, consisting of four to five rats in each group. Rats were irradiated at a single surface dose of 2000

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G. S. GUPTA and S. R. BAWA

Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

(Received 21st January 1974)

Glycogen has been demonstrated in non-germinal cells of the testes in many species (Free, 1970). In the rat, however, the Sertoli cells and the interstitial cells are characterized by the absence of glycogen (Nicander, 1957; Leiderman & Mancini, 1969). The germinal cells are the major sites for the deposition of glycogen and their content declines progressively from the immediate postnatal period to adult-hood (Leiderman & Mancini, 1969). As atrophic testes resulting from irradiation consist largely of non-germinal cells (Ellis, 1970), it is assumed that the changes in the glycogen levels in such testes mirror the events associated with the interstitial and Sertoli cells.

Normal adult rats (150 to 200 g) were allocated to fifteen groups, with three to five rats in each group. Anaesthetized rats, without shielding, were laid in a supine position on a dissecting board. The body

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G. S. GUPTA and S. R. BAWA

Summary.

The decrease in the uptake of 65Zn by irradiated testes (720 R) was followed by recovery after 30 days. After a dose of 2000 R, uptake of 65Zn was systematically reduced over a period of 74 days. Studies following the administration of testosterone and FSH to the irradiated rats confirm that the incorporation of zinc in the nongerminal cells of the testes is under the control of pituitary gonadotrophins.

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G. S. GUPTA and S. R. BAWA

Summary.

Acid phosphatase is present in the nucleus and cytoplasm of cells in the seminiferous tubules and the interstitium of rat testes. The effect of irradiation on acid phosphatase is dependent on the environmental temperature and the dose of irradiation. It appears that initial rise in the enzyme at a low radiation dose and a high environmental temperature or at a high dose and low temperature is associated with a lysosomal breakdown of the germinal cells of the testes. A decrease in acid phosphatase in the advanced stages of radiation injury is a secondary radiation effect which may lead to decreased metabolic synthesis of phosphate esters owing to the unavailability of orthophosphate in the testicular tubules. The reduced acid phosphatase activity can be detected in the seminiferous tubules, suggesting that the enzyme activity is related to the state of the germ cell population. An initial increase in acid phosphatase is matched by an initial rise in acid DNAse within hours of irradiation, further suggesting that there is radiation interaction with the cells of the germinal epithelium. The enhanced activity of DNAse following a 2nd week of irradiation at 2000 R confirms the phagocytic activity of the non-germinal cells.

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PUSHPAMALA P. BIDWAI and S. R. BAWA

Summary.

During the breeding season, the seminal vesicles of the Indian hedgehog secrete an amorphous material and crystalloid bodies. The latter are absent in the non-rutting period. The amorphous secretion of the rutting, as well as of the non-rutting, seminal vesicles show identical histochemical reactions in containing mucoproteins, mucopolysaccharides and appreciable amounts of alkaline phosphatase. The crystalloid bodies are complexes of glycolipids and mucoproteins and, unlike the amorphous secretion, they show an intense acid phosphatase activity. Although progressive development of the crystalloid material in the apical cells of the seminal vesicle epithelium has not been seen, there is similarity of these cells to the crystalloid bodies located in the lumen. The secretion of these crystalloids seems to be dependent upon the hormonal status of the animal. While they are present in the seminal vesicles of hedgehogs treated with male goat pituitary extracts in the non-breeding season, they cannot be demonstrated in the seminal vesicles of a control group.

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S. R. BAWA, KULDIP C. KANWAR and PAWAN K. SINGAL

It is well known that rigs or cryptorchids with abdominal testes are sterile (Crewe, 1922; Nordby, 1928). Further, in unilateral cryptorchidism, clinical as well as experimental, normal functioning of the abdominal testis is impaired; the nature of the damage is similar to that described for the bilaterally cryptorchid testis (see Kormano, Härkönen & Kontinen, 1964).

Though testicular histology in response to hyperthermia has recently been investigated, biochemical, histochemical and cytochemical studies on the mammalian testis subjected to hyperthermia are few (see Collins & Lacy, 1969). No attempt has yet been made to study both testes from the same animal, where one is maintained at normal temperature and the other testis is subjected to heat. Comparative studies on normal and heat-treated testes from the same animal would supply direct information on whether the effects produced are

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K. C. KANWAR, S. R. BAWA and P. K. SINGAL

Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

(Received 26th March 1974)

Changes occurring in the wall or boundary tissue (Lacy & Rotblat, 1960) of the seminiferous tubules following damage of the testis have been reported by several workers (Lacy & Rotblat, 1960; Turpeinen, Turpeinen & Talanti, 1962; Lacy, 1964; Schöffling, 1965; Idanpaan-Heikkila, 1966). Though hyperthermic sensitivity of the germinal epithelium of the mammalian scrotal testes has been well documented (Collins & Lacy, 1969), response of the boundary tissue of seminiferous tubules to hyperthermia has not been properly studied. The brief comments of Turpeinen et al. (1962) and Idanpaan-Heikkila (1966) pertaining to the structure and histochemical make-up of the boundary tissue following testicular hyperthermic shock, however, are suggestive of its altered physiology.

Sexually mature male albino rats, each weighing 200 to 250g, were anaesthetized with Nembutal (5 mg/100 g body wt) and were allotted to six groups, eacheach weighing 200 to