The Scientist - Dr. Natan Bar-Chama: “Sperm on Lockdown”

 – December 4, 2013  –– 

The many barriers to the development of male contraception include potential effects on sex drive, irreversibility, and the sheer magnitude of sperm production—the human testes produce around 1,000 sperm every minute. Now, Australian researchers have shown that male mice lacking both the P2X1-purinoceptor and α1A-adrenoceptor are infertile, but behave normally and can father offspring by in vitro fertilization. Their work was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. “I applaud any effort to give couples options whereby the woman doesn’t have to take a hormonal contraceptive, and I look forward to seeing this further developed,” said Natan Bar-Chama, MD, Associate Professor of Urology, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at The Mount Sinai Hospital, who was not involved in the study. “But we have a long way to go from showing that what happens in mice is usable in humans.” Learn more