Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly Found Estrogen Role In Males Might Lead To Contraceptive For Men

Date:
November 14, 2001
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Researchers tapping into the estrogen pathway that regulates fertility in males have found two independent roles of the hormone, and they may have uncovered a new approach for developing a male contraceptive.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers tapping into the estrogen pathway that regulates fertility in males have found two independent roles of the hormone, and they may have uncovered a new approach for developing a male contraceptive.

In a paper to appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, University of Illinois scientists report that estrogen regulates fluid reabsorption in the male reproductive tract by triggering a protein involved in sodium transport. They also detail in the paper – published in the online PNAS Early Edition on Nov. 6 – that estrogen sustains the morphological architecture of the efferent ductules.

“We were not expecting this second role of estrogen,” said Rex A. Hess, a professor of reproductive biology and toxicology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. “This structure-sustaining role appears to be independent of estrogen’s molecular function of regulating ion transport. This tells us that estrogen is important for the expression of other genes with distinct physiological and morphological functions.”

Hess and colleagues had documented in 1997 that estrogen was vital for fluid reabsorption during the transfer of sperm in fluid from the testis through the efferent ductules to the epididymis, where sperm matures and is stored. The PNAS paper provides a molecular picture of what estrogen does.

Efferent ductules are small tubes that produce concentrated semen. In a series of experiments using mice lacking the estrogen receptor or proteins thought to be regulated by estrogen, the scientists showed that when sodium transport did not occur, excess fluid diluted the sperm, leaving mice infertile. However, when estrogen receptor was present, epithelial cells were normal in appearance, even when sodium transport was abolished in the mice lacking the protein NHE3.

Hess and colleagues discovered that NHE3, which is responsible for the transport of sodium into and out of cells, was directly responsible for luminal fluid reabsorption under estrogen regulation. “Thus, blockage of the estrogen receptor could provide a new target for developing the perfect contraceptive in the male,” Hess said.

“When we treated animals with a potent anti-estrogen compound, we saw a decline of messenger RNA necessary for sodium transport,” said Qing Zhou, a doctoral researcher working with Hess. Zhou used molecular biology and immunohistochemistry methods to document the molecular and physiological changes that occurred in the mice.

Co-authors were Rong Nie and Kay Carnes, researchers in the UI department of veterinary biosciences, and Benita S. Katzenellenbogen of the department of cell and structural biology and department of molecular and integrative physiology in the UI College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.

Contributors from other institutions were Lane Clark of the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and University of Missouri at Columbia; Li-Wen Lai and Yeong-Hau H. Lien of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson; Dennis Lubahn of the University of Missouri at Columbia; Allan Verkman of the University of California at San Francisco, and Jane S. Fisher of the Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The National Institutes of Health and Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Foundation funded the work through grants to Hess, Clarke and Lien.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Newly Found Estrogen Role In Males Might Lead To Contraceptive For Men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011114071137.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2001, November 14). Newly Found Estrogen Role In Males Might Lead To Contraceptive For Men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011114071137.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Newly Found Estrogen Role In Males Might Lead To Contraceptive For Men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011114071137.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins