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Histological Changes in the Rat Testis Following Heat Treatment *

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HISTOLOGICAL CHANGES IN THE RAT TESTIS FOLLOWING HEAT TREATMENT* W. L. WILLIAMS AND BERT CUNNINGHAM It is well known that raising the temperature of the mammalian testis results in more or less extensive damage to the tubules. Such an effect is found almost irrespective of the species studied or the technic employed.18 There is unanimity of opinion regarding the general features of the degeneration resulting from heat, and of the course of the repar- ative processes. In only the guinea-pig, however, have many of the 25details been described to any great extent. Accordingly, the pres- ent paper is concerned with observations of the stages in the degen- eration and repair of the rat testis following a single application of heat. Methods An infra-red heat lamp was used as the source of heat. A lateral ventral half of the scrotum of each of a number of 90-day-old albino rats (under urethane anesthesia) was exposed to sufficient rays to produce an air temperature of 46° C. at the level of the scrotum and an average rectal temperature rise of 1.80 C. Just previous to the treatmcnt the testis on the untreated side was pushed into the abdomen and was retained there by a small clamp during the exposure. As a further precaution the untreated half of the scrotum, the abdomen, and the lower extremities were insulated by several layers of moist surgical gauze and a metal plate. Similar treatment, although bilateral, with infra-red has been found to produce sterility in rats5 and in rabbits' comparable to that found with other methods of heat application. At intervals of 2, 5, 12, 20, 30, 45, and 60 days after treatment animals were killed for study. In each instance from 3 to 6 animals were sacrificed. The testes were fixed in Bouin's picro-formol and stained with Ehrlich's hematoxylin with or without eosin counter- staining. * From the Department of Zoology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. The manuscript was completed during residence (W. L. W.) at the Department of Anatomy, Yale University

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