London: Scientists have made a breakthrough that could be used to design a new class of contraceptive pills.
Lishko and Kirichok`s team developed a way of measuring the electrical currents within sperm that are created by ions like calcium, similar to how neuroscientists record the electrical activity of neurons.They found that adding progesterone to ejaculated human sperm boosts the current, and that treating sperm with drugs that block CatSper reduces it. Putting the cells into high-pH environments, like those found around the egg, also activated CatSper. A combination of high pH and high progesterone had an even stronger effect.A second team, led by Benjamin Kaupp, a biophysicist at the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, came to the same conclusion in their own experiments1. "The consequence for humans is that if you could block CatSper it would be an ideal contraceptive," the Nature quoted David Clapham, a biochemist at Children``s Hospital Boston in Massachusetts, whose team discovered the channel and is looking for drugs that inhibit it, as saying.The study has been published in Nature. ANI
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