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Year : 1983  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 532-534

An experimental clinico-histopathological study of toxic effects of aflatoxins on eyes

State Institute of Ophthalmology, M.D. Eye Hospital, Allahabad, India

Correspondence Address:
R N Misra
Institute of Ophthalmology, M.D. Eye Hospital, Allahabad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 6671750

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How to cite this article:
Misra R N, Srivastava D, Saksena V C, Kant S. An experimental clinico-histopathological study of toxic effects of aflatoxins on eyes. Indian J Ophthalmol 1983;31:532-4

How to cite this URL:
Misra R N, Srivastava D, Saksena V C, Kant S. An experimental clinico-histopathological study of toxic effects of aflatoxins on eyes. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1983 [cited 2019 Dec 14];31:532-4. Available from:

Table 2

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Table 2

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Table 1

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Table 1

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The presence of toxic principles in some samples of groundnut meal was first recognised in Britain during 1960. When many young turkeys died after consuming meal from Brazil [1] the toxic factors were found to be the product of certain strains of fungus, Aspergillus flavus infecting the groundnut. [2] These factors have been collectively termed `aflatoxins'. Laboratory procedures were evolved to isolate the toxin [3] . Four closely related substances (aflatoxin B1, B2 G1 & G2) have been identified and have been shown to be compounds of difurano-coumarin derivative [4] .

The Aflatoxin is hepatotoxic in ducklings, guineapigs, chicks, pigs and lambs. In general, the Liver shows fatty change, parenchymatous damage and poliferation of bile duct.

In the present paper we studied the effects of aflatoxin on young chicks (Gallus indicus) with special reference to Eyes.

  Material and Methods Top

One day old chicks (gallus indicus) weighing between 28 to 35 grams were taken. All the chicks were fed on standard chick feed manufactured by Hindustan Levers Limited, Bombay. They were given water ad libium. The animals were kept at 37 ± 1°C temperature in incubator.

The animals were divided into two groups:

Group A: The aflatoxin was administered through oral route.

Group B: The solution of Aflatoxin was instilled in in conjunctival sac.

Group A

Chicks were fed on aflatoxin contaminated diet in two strength 3 mg and 6 mg B 1 aflatoxin per kilogram of chick feed for 4 weeks. The controls were given aflatoxin free diet for 4 weeks.

Group B

Topical instillation of aflatoxin chicks were given B 1 aflatoxin dissolved in propylense glycol in strength of 3 mg and 6 mg per kilogram body weight 4 times a day for 4 weeks. The control chicks were given only propylene glycol drops., 4 times a day for 4 weeks.

The animals were examined for any clinical finding by naked eye, lens loupe and slit lamp examination.

The animals were sacrified by the method of dislocation of cervical vertebra. After ienucleating the eyes and removing the liver, the eyes and, liver sections were cut & stained.

  Observations Top

Group A:

The animals which received the aflatoxin in dose of 3 mg. per Kilogram chick feed did not show any significant change upto 4th week, so we have considered in this paper only those animals who received the aflatoxin in dose of 6 mg. per kilogram chick feed. The clinical findings are given in [Table - 1].

Histopathological findings:


The necropsy of Liver revealed changes in the form of petechial haemorrhages, pyknosis of hepatic cells, marked round cell in filtration, proliferation of bile, edema and fibrosis around the bile duct.


The histopathological changes were present in the form of conjunctival haemorrhage, & polymorphonuclear cell infiltration. Cornea showing lamellar separation with polymorpho­nuclear cell infiltration, Iris showing hypertrophy and polymorphonuclear cells infiltration. The scleral cells showing pyknosis and paraneuclear vacuolation. The lens was also showing changes in the form of lamellar separation along with round cell infiltration towards periphery.

Group B.

The animals where aflatoxin was used in strength of 3 mg per kilogram Body weight did not revealed significant changes in the eyes, so ww-e have considered here too only those cases where 6 mg. kilogram body weight aflatoxin was instilled in eye. The cinical findings are given in [Table - 2].

Histopathological finding:

The conjunctival showing polymorphonuc­lear cells infiltration along with few haemorrhages specially near the Limbus. Cornea showing polymorphonuclear cells infiltration along with Lamellar separation of substantial propria, endothelial damage was present and margins were intorted. The scleral cells were showing pyknosis and paranuclear vacuolation. The Iris showing hypertrophy and outgrowth along with polymorphonuclear cells infiltration, increased vascularisation and posterior synechiae were also present. The lens was showing lamellar separation alongwith polymorphonuclear cells infiltration, however the capsule was intact[5].

  References Top

Blount, W.P., Turkeys, 9, 52, 1961.  Back to cited text no. 1
Sargeant, K., Okelly, J., Carnaghan, R.B.A., Nature Lond., 193, 1096, 1961.  Back to cited text no. 2
Nesbitt, B.F., O'Kelly's sargeant, K., Sheridans, A., Nature Lond., 195, 1062, 1962.  Back to cited text no. 3
Wogan, G.N., Wick, E.L., Dunn, C.G., Scrimshaw, N.S., Food Proc., 22, 611, 1963.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gopalan, G., Tulpule, P.G., Kishna murti, D,, Toxicol, 10, 519, 1972.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4], [Figure - 5], [Figure - 6]

  [Table - 1], [Table - 2]


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