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  • Author or Editor: G. Archunan x
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Androgen dependent epididymal proteins act as antigen to produce autoantibodies and affect normal fertility. In the present study, epididymal proteins were analyzed during the time of sexual maturation and their androgen dependency was studied in male albino mice. Epididymis of 21 days (Pre-pubertal), 45 days (Pubertal), 60 days (Post-pubertal), orchidectomized (15 days after surgery) and orchidectomized with testosterone-treated (15 days after treatment) mice were dissected out and analyzed. Caput, corpus and cauda epididymidis were separated and the protein extract was prepared with 0.1 M PBS for 10% SDS-PAGE analysis. Testosterone assay was performed in the experimental groups except the testosterone treated group. The electrophoretic analysis of proteins in caput, corpus and cauda epididymidis of orchidectomized animals showed the disappearance of several proteins as compared to the adult. However, the disappeared proteins started to reappear in testosterone treated animals. The results suggest that removal of testis depletes the testosterone level and causes significant alteration in epididymal proteins. These proteins need further investigation for the purpose of immunocontraception by using them as antigens.

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Our recent findings revealed that the preputial gland of male house rat contains 20 kDa protein, however, the role of androgen in the production of this protein is not known. Hence, the present study was carried out to evaluate the androgen dependency of 20 kDa protein in the preputial gland of house rat (Rattus rattus) and to compare its presence in female clitoral gland. Further, on castration the amount of glandular protein in male was significantly decreased to a certain extent, while testosterone treatment on castrated males showed an increasing trend. The electrophorogram of male house rat showed six different protein fractions with molecular weights of 90, 70, 60, 50, 35 and 20 kDa. However, the 70, 60, 50 and 35 kDa were absent in female. Among the different fractions, 90 and 20 kDa proteins were prominent. On castration, the 20 kDa protein was disappeared; while on testosterone treatment the protein reappeared.  Thus, the present study concludes that the 20 kDa protein is a testosterone dependent sex-associated protein. Since urinary protein is found to act as carrier for volatile substances in pheromonal communication. The present study suggests that the glandular protein may bind with the volatile compounds produced from preputial gland. Identification of this carrier protein in the preputial gland explores the possibility of developing pheromonal trap for rodent pest management (RPM).

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