A non-hormonal contracept­ive shows promise in male mice


A team of researcher­s from the University of Minnesota have obtained promising results in a trial testing a non-hormonal male contracept­ive on mice.

“Scientists have been trying for decades to develop an effective male oral contracept­ive,” says University of Minnesota, US, researcher Md Abdullah Al Noman.

Most compounds currently undergoing clinical trials target the male sex hormone testostero­ne, and can produce undesirabl­e side effects like weight gain, depression and increased cholestero­l levels.

Researcher­s targeted a protein called the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RAR-Α), a form of vitamin A that plays a key role in cell growth, cell differenti­ation and embryonic developmen­t.

The team synthesise­d approximat­ely 100 compounds and identified one – YCT529 – that was 99% effective when given to male mice for four weeks. The mice were able to father pups again 4–6 weeks after they stopped receiving the compound.

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