Zee Media Bureau
Tokyo: Looks like a birth control pill for men is on its way. According to a study published in the journal Science, scientists from Japan were able to temporarily disable sperm in mice.
For the study, scientists at Osaka University used an immunosuppressant drug which they injected it in mice.
They found that the drug blocked a protein that is essential in sperm production. The protein called calcineurin, is found in both mice and humans, and has long been known to be a factor in male fertility. Blocking or removing this protein from the sperm make it weak and incapable of penetrating the egg.
According to the researchers, those mice that received the drug became infertile for two weeks, but they became fertile again a week after stopping the treatment.
Meanwhile, different types of calcineurin in the testes have made it hard for scientists to isolate the one that affects sperm.
Scientists are yet to conduct the test in humans, which means it could take some years from being developed into a drug for use.
They also said that unlike women's birth control pill which affects the whole body, this drug may have fewer side effects since it targets only the specific protein in sperm.
The team concludes that the drug may be a target for reversible and rapidly acting human male contraceptives considering the results in mice.
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