Histological Assessment of the Testes and Hormonal Profile of Adult Male Albino Wistar Rats Following Oral Administration of Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg)

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1   Introduction

         This chapter presents the review of related literature on histological assessment of the testes and hormonal profile of adult male albino wistar rats following oral administration of myristica fragrans (nutmeg). Views and opinions of other authors is presented as follows.

 

2.2   Origins

         In 18th century Europe, wild brown rats ran rampant and this infestation fueled the industry of rat-catching. Rat-catchers would not only make money by trapping the rodents, but also by selling them for food or, more commonly, for rat-baiting.

         Rat-baiting was a popular sport, which involved filling a pit with rats and timing how long it took for a terrier to kill them all. Over time, breeding the rats for these contests may have produced variations in color, notably the albino and hooded varieties. The first time one of these albino mutants was brought into a laboratory for a study was in 1828 for an experiment on fasting. Over the next 30 years, rats were used for several more experiments and eventually the laboratory rat became the first animal domesticated for purely scientific reasons (Krinke et al; 2000).

         In Japan, there was a widespread practice of keeping rats as a domesticated pet during the Edo period and in the 18th century guidebooks on keeping domestic rats were published by Youso Tamanokakehashi (1775) and Chingan Sodategusa (1787). Genetic analysis of 117 albino rat strains collected from all parts of the world carried out by a team led by Takashi Kuramoto at Kyoto University in 2012 showed that the albino rats descended from hooded rats and all the albino rats descended from a single ancestor (Kuramoto, 2012). As there is evidence that the hooded rat was known as the “Japanese rat” in the early 20th century, Kuramoto concluded that one or more Japanese hooded rats might have been brought to Europe or the Americas and an albino rat that emerged as a product of the breeding of these hooded rats was the common ancestor of all the albino laboratory rats in use today (Kuramoto, 2012).

2.3   Rats

         Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents. Species of rats are found throughout the order Rodentia, but stereotypical rats are found in the genus Rattus. Other rat genera include Neotoma (pack rats), Bandicota (bandicoot rats) and Dipodomys (kangaroo rats).

         Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size. Generally, when someone discovers a large muroid rodent, its common name includes the term rat, while if it is smaller, its name includes the term mouse. The common terms rat and mouse are not taxonomically specific.

 

2.4   Stocks and Strains

         A strain, in reference to rodents, is a group in which all members are, as nearly as possible, genetically identical. In rats, this is accomplished through inbreeding. By having this kind of population, it is possible to conduct experiments on the roles of genes, or conduct experiments that exclude variations in genetics as a factor. By contrast, outbred populations are used when identical genotypes are unnecessary or a population with genetic variation is required, and these rats are usually referred to as stocks rather than strains (Clause, 1998).

  1. Wistar Rat: The Wistar rat is an outbred albino rat. This breed was developed at the Wistar Institute in 1906 for use in biological and medical research, and is notably the first rat developed to serve as a model organism at a time when laboratories primarily used the house mouse (Mus musculus). More than half of all laboratory rat strains are descended from the original colony established by physiologist Henry Donaldson, scientific administrator Milton J. Greenman, and genetic researcher/embryologist Helen Dean King (Clause, 1998).

         The Wistar rat is currently one of the most popular rats used for laboratory research. It is characterized by its wide head, long ears, and a tail length that is always less than its body length. The Sprague Dawley rat and Long–Evans rat were developed from Wistar rats. Wistar rats are more active than others like Sprague Dawley rats. The spontaneously hypertensive rat and the Lewis rat are other well-known stocks developed from Wistar rats.

  1. Long-Evans Rat: The Long–Evans rat is an outbred rat developed by Drs. Long and Evans in 1915 by crossing several Wistar females with a wild gray male. Long-Evans rats are white with a black hood, or occasionally white with a brown hood. They are utilized as a multipurpose model organism, frequently in behavioral and obesity research.

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