Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Birth control pill for men? Scientists find a hormonal on-and-off switch for male fertility

Date:
November 30, 2009
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Scientists have found how and where androgenic hormones work in the testis to control normal sperm production and male fertility. This opens a promising avenue for the development of "the pill" for men. The discovery also offers hope to those who cannot have children because of low sperm counts.

Artist's rendering of swimming spermatozoa.
Credit: iStockphoto/David Marchal

A new research report published in the December 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal could one day give men similar type of control over their fertility that women have had since the 1960s. That's because scientists have found how and where androgenic hormones work in the testis to control normal sperm production and male fertility. This opens a promising avenue for the development of "the pill" for men.

Related Articles


The discovery also offers hope to those who cannot have children because of low sperm counts. Although the research was conducted in mice, a similar effect is likely to obtain in other mammals, such as humans.

"This study provides a new opportunity to identify how androgens control sperm production, which could provide new insight for the development of new treatments for male infertility and perhaps new male contraceptives," said Michelle Welsh, Ph.D., co-author of the study, from the Centre for Reproductive Biology at The Queen's Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh, UK.

To make this discovery, Welsh and colleagues performed studies in two groups of mice. The first group of mice was normal, but the second group of mice was missing a gene from the peritubular myoid cells in the testis. This gene that was missing codes for the androgen hormone receptor, and when missing, sperm production was significantly decreased when compared to the normal group. The result was infertility.

"Although 'the pill' arguably has been liberating for women since its development in the 1960s, a similar birth control drug for men has been elusive," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Not only does this research pinpoint androgenic hormones and their cellular receptors as prime targets for the development of new birth control drugs, but it promises to speed the development of new agents to boost sperm production."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michelle Welsh, Philippa T. K. Saunders, Nina Atanassova, Richard M. Sharpe, and Lee B. Smith. Androgen action via testicular peritubular myoid cells is essential for male fertility. The FASEB Journal, 2009; 23 (12): 4218 DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-138347

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Birth control pill for men? Scientists find a hormonal on-and-off switch for male fertility." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130112419.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2009, November 30). Birth control pill for men? Scientists find a hormonal on-and-off switch for male fertility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130112419.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Birth control pill for men? Scientists find a hormonal on-and-off switch for male fertility." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130112419.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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