Washington: Scientists have said that a new male contraceptive could be on the horizon after they identified a novel way to block the transport of sperm during ejaculation.
The study enable the scientists to find that complete male infertility could be achieved by blocking two proteins found on the smooth muscle cells that trigger the transport of sperm.
The researchers demonstrated that the absence of two proteins in mouse models, a1A-adrenoceptor and P2X1-purinoceptor, which mediate sperm transport, caused infertility, without effects on long-term sexual behavior or function.
Lead researchers, Dr Sab Ventura and Dr Carl White of the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, believe the knowledge could be applied to the potential development of a contraceptive pill for men.
Ventura said that previous strategies have focused on hormonal targets or mechanisms thatproduce dysfunctional sperm incapable of fertilization, but they often interfere with male sexual activity and cause long term irreversible effects on fertility.
He said that they've shown that simultaneously disrupting the two proteins that control the transport of sperm during ejaculation causes complete male infertility, but without affecting the long-term viability of sperm or the sexual or general health of males.
Ventura asserted that the sperm is effectively there but the muscle is just not receiving the chemical message to move it.
The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.