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Pill for the man in the mouse test successful
US scientists have successfully tested the pill for men. In model experiments on mice, the molecule JQ1, which is known from cancer research, achieved "a complete and reversible contraceptive effect", report the researchers led by Martin Matzuk from Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas) in the specialist magazine "Cell".
While numerous pharmacological contraceptives are available for women, contraception in men has so far been essentially restricted to the use of condoms. Researchers around the world have been working on the development of a pill for men for years. If the results of the US researchers are also confirmed in humans, this would be a groundbreaking breakthrough. Especially since the tested active ingredient does not interfere with the hormonal balance and the inhibition of the sperm that has been achieved completely decreases as soon as the pill is stopped.
Sperm count and motility reduced Originally, the oncologist James Bradner from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, who was also involved in the current study, investigated the effects of the molecule JQ1 on cancer. It was shown that JQ 1 successfully inhibits certain proteins, which in turn regulate the activity of the genes. The blocked proteins also included the "testicular BRDT", which has a significant influence on sperm development, the US scientists write in the scientific article "Small Molecular Inhibition of BRDT for Male Contraception". Tests in mice have shown that treatment with JQ1 by blocking the BRDT reduces the number and motility of the sperm without interfering with hormone levels, Martin Matzuk and colleagues continue.
Sex drive and hormone balance unaffected by the pill for men Although the treated males generally showed normal mating behavior, the "selective low-molecular inhibitor" JQ1 "caused a complete and reversible contraceptive effect", the US scientists report. Sex drive and hormone levels remained unaffected. After stopping the active substance, the sperm could develop completely normally again. According to Matzuk and colleagues, the male mice produced healthy offspring, in which no unwanted effects were found. In a next step, pharmacological contraceptives for men could also be developed, which also aim to block the protein BRDT. However, according to the US researchers, the molecule JQ1 is unsuitable as a contraceptive because other proteins are also blocked and there is therefore a risk of undesirable effects elsewhere in the organism.
New approach of a pharmacological contraceptive for men "The study is a fundamentally new approach that will advance our field", the research officer of the German Society for Andrology, Stefan Schlatt, assessed the current results of the US scientists to the news agency "dpa". Whether the pill for men can be introduced as a new method of contraception promptly remains to be seen. Researchers have reported breakthrough results several times in the past - especially with hormonal drugs - but a pharmacological contraceptive for men is not yet available on the market. (fp)
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