Navigation Links
Could a birth control pill for men be on the horizon?
Date:6/4/2011

(NEW YORK, NY, June 4, 2011) Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center are honing in on the development of what may be the first non-steroidal, oral contraceptive for men. Tests of low doses of a compound that interferes with retinoic acid receptors (RARs), whose ligands are metabolites of dietary vitamin A, showed that it caused sterility in male mice.

Earlier results of the experiments using this RAR antagonist were published in the June 1st issue of Endocrinology, and an abstract extending the studies to longer drug delivery periods is scheduled for the Late Breaking Oral Session of ENDO 2011: The 93rd Annual Meeting & Expo in Boston, Massachusetts.

(The abstract, titled Meeting Men's Contraceptive NeedsLong-Term Oral-Administered Retinoic Acid Receptor Antagonist Inhibits Spermatogenesis in Mice with a Reversible and Rapid Recovery, will be presented at the session by first author Sanny S. W. Chung, Ph.D., on Saturday, June 4, 11:15 a.m., Room 157ABC, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center).

The researchers found that low doses of the drug stopped sperm production with no apparent side effects. And crucial for a contraceptive, normal fertility was restored soon after drug administration was terminated.

Earlier research had led the investigators to the discovery that manipulating the retinoid receptor pathway could interfere with the process of spermatogenesis, which is necessary for sperm production.

Scientists have known for almost 100 years that depriving an animal of dietary vitamin A causes male sterility. While investigating targeted loss of function of the gene encoding one of the RARs, RARalpha, which results in male infertility, senior author Debra J. Wolgemuth, Ph.D., ran across a paper by Bristol-Myers Squibb on a compound that was being tested for the treatment of skin and inflammatory diseases. The compound seemed to cause changes in the testis similar to the mutation that she and Dr. Chung were studying in Dr. Wolgemuth's lab.

(Dr. Wolgemuth is professor of genetics and development and of obstetrics and gynecology; and Dr. Chung is an associate research scientist, both at Columbia University Medical Center).

Bristol-Myers dropped its interest when it found that the compound also was in the company's words "a testicular toxin." The paper did not elaborate on how the drug caused infertility, so Dr. Wolgemuth and her team tested the drug in mice to find out; they noted that the changes it caused were similar to what one sees with vitamin A-deficiency and loss of function of RARalpha.

"We were intrigued," said Dr. Wolgemuth. "One company's toxin may be another person's contraceptive."

To investigate whether the compound prevented conception at even lower levels than those cited in the company's study, Dr. Wolgemuth and her team placed the treated male mice with females and found that reversible male sterility occurred with doses as low as 1.0mg/kg of body weight for a 4-week dosing period.

One advantage of using a non-steroidal approach, the researchers say, is avoiding the side effects commonly associated with steroidal hormone-based methods.

Male steroid-based options have been plagued with adverse effects, including ethnic variability in efficacy, as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Another side effect of hormonal options for men has been diminished libido. That drawback will also likely be avoided if a method involving manipulation of the retinoid receptor pathway proves successful.

"We have seen no side effects, so far, and our mice have been mating quite happily," said Dr. Wolgemuth.

The researchers say the drug will not affect vision. Although dietary vitamin A is responsible for the production of light-sensitive receptors in the eye, it does not use the RARs in this process.

"An additional benefit of our compound is that it can be taken orally as a pill, avoiding the injection process. It also appears to have a very rapid effect on sperm production and an even more rapid recovery when fertility is desired," said Dr. Chung.

But to make the pill a reality, researchers need to show that the compound is safe, effective and reversible when used for years.

Drs. Wolgemuth and Chung are now planning longer-term studies to determine how long fertility can be disrupted and still recover after administration of the drug stops. "We hope that in the not so distant future, we may finally have more choices for people," said Dr. Chung.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Diabetic drug could help prevent the spread of cancer
2. Could Extreme Low-Cal Diets Bring Longer, Healthier Life?
3. Healthy gut flora could prevent obesity
4. Brisk walking could improve prostate cancer outcomes
5. Consortium identifies genome regions that could influence severity of cystic fibrosis
6. New Stanford device could reduce surgical scarring
7. Common test could help predict early death in diabetes, study shows
8. Study identifies novel role for a protein that could lead to new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis
9. New tool to measure outcomes could help improve arm surgery for devastating nerve injury
10. Viagra could reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms
11. Implant jab could solve the misery of back pain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer ... unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid ... healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its ... PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they are ... drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides quality ... and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... today at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra ... authored journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... According to a new market ... Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, ... of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts ... market for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. ... by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made an ... current process. Many of them do not even offer this ... and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able ... such a high cost that the majority of today,s patients ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: