• Saumen K Maitra

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Role of light in the mediation of acute effects of a single afternoon melatonin injection on steroidogenic activity of testis in the rat

      Saumen K Maitra Arun K Ray

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      Young adult male rats, maintained either in an LD 12: 12 or in continuous illumination (LL) for one week, were given a single injection of 25 μg melatonin/100 g body wt or ethanolic-saline (control) at 17.00 h. Animals from each group were sacrificed at 11.00 h on the following day. The activity of two important steroidogenic enzymes, 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD) and Δ5-3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (Δ5-3β-HSD), and serum concentrations of testosterone, were measured following highly specific and sensitive spectrophotometric techniques and RIA, respectively. A significant decrease in the activity of both the steroidogenic enzymes was noted in the testes of melatonin-treated rats maintained under normal light-dark schedules, but this response was found to be lacking in the LL rats. However, no significant changes in the level of serum testosterone were noted in either group of melatonin-treated rats from the values in respective groups of ethanolic saline-administered LD and LL rats. Exposure of ethanolic saline-injected rats to continuous light also did not cause any change in the steroidogenic activity of the testis from those in LD rats. The study indicates that continuous light as such does not affect the endocrine function of testis but abolishes suppressive effects of melatonin on the steroidogenic activity of the testis in rat.

    • Induction of blindness by formoguanamine hydrochloride in adult male roseringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri)

      Anamika Sengupta Yoshihiko Obara Tapan K Banerji Saumen K Maitra

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      Formoguanamine (2,4-diamino-s-triazine) was known to be an effective chemical agent in inducing blindness in poultry chicks, but not in adult birds. The present study was undertaken to demonstrate the influences, if any, of this chemical on the visual performance and retinal histology in an adult sub-tropical wild bird, the roseringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Formoguanamine (FG) hydrochloride was subcutaneously injected into adult parakeets at a dosage of 25 mg (dissolved in 0.75 ml physiological saline)/100 g body weight/day, for two consecutive days while the control birds were injected only with a placebo. The effects were studied after 10, 20 and 30 days of the last treatment of FG. Within 24 h of the treatment of FG, about 90% of the total birds exhibited lack of visual responses to any light stimulus and even absence of pupillary light reactions. The remaining birds became totally blind on the day following the last injection of FG and remained so till the end of investigation. At the microscopic level, conspicuous degenerative changes were noted in the outer pigmented epithelium and the photoreceptive layer of rods and cones in the retinas of FG treated birds. A significant reduction in the thickness of the outer nuclear layer was also found in the retinas of FG treated parakeets, compared to that in the control birds. However, the inner cell layers of the retina in the control and FG administered parakeets were almost identical. It deserves special mention that the effects of FG, noted after 30 days of last treatment, were not very different from those noted just after 10 days of treatment. Collectively, the results of the present investigation demonstrate that FG can be used as a potent pharmacological agent for inducing irreversible blindness through selective damage in retinal tissue even in the adult wild bird, thereby making FG treatment an alternative euthanasic device to a cumbersome, stressful, surgical method of enucleation of the ocular system for laboratory studies.

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