Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A breakthrough in male contraception

Discovered a gene defect that causes infertility in men. Drugs acting on this gene can be used to create a male contraceptive pills. While women used the pill for 40 years, the male analogue still exists.

On opening the reported American Journal of Human Genetics, publishing the results of US-Iranian project to examine the hereditary deafness in Iranian families.

Researchers have found two families in which men suffer infertility is not associated with other congenital disorders. After studying their genes in mice, scientists have identified a gene responsible for sterility, - CATSPER1.

This gene regulates the activity of the movement of sperm towards the ovum at the time of fertilization. Experiments on mice have shown that in the absence or shortage of a certain protein gene ceases to perform its functions.

On this basis, scientists have suggested that in future, possible to create drugs that affect only this gene without any side effects to the body as a whole. The authors of the study suggest that a breach of the movement of sperm, which occurs in mice without the gene CATSPER1, characteristic of men with the same congenital defect.

Identifying genes that influence not on the reproductive function in general, but only on the properties of semen, minimizes side effects associated with the use of drugs that affect the production of proteins in the body. In the future this may lead to the creation of a new generation of male contraceptives.

No comments: