Male contraceptives made from arrow poison shows promise, claims scientist

Male contraceptives made from arrow poison shows promise, claims scientist

Despite the wide range of oral contraceptives now available for women on the market, no pharmaceutical type birth control exists for men, who can only be sterilised through vasectomy, a surgical procedure.

Two types of African plants make ouabain. It is a plant extract earlier used by African warriors and hunters on the tips of arrows as "heart-stopping poison".

However, that might be about to change as a group of researchers from the American Chemical Society (ACS) have found that a particular plant extract could be the key to curbing male fertility. Although, a lot of female contraceptive methods for family planning purposes abound globally, making it very convenient for women of reproductive age to choose from, it is not like that in the male.

Ouabain disrupts the passage of sodium and calcium ions through the membrane protein Na, K-ATPases, which are are found in cell membranes and are made up of protein subunits.

Scientists believe the hormone can help maintain blood pressure levels and physicians sometimes prescribe it to treat patients who have suffered from a heart attack.

The potential threat of heart damage drove the research team to design mild ouabain doses that would pose a reduced threat to the heart and then focused primarily on binding it to a particular protein found in sperm.

By removing a sugar group from ouabain and also replacing its lactone group with a triazole group, researchers created a derivative that is particularly good at zeroing in on alpha4 in sperm cells in rats.

As ouabain can't be used by itself, the researchers designed a number of analogues that could bind to the protein without putting the heart at risk. The compound had no toxicity in rats.

Contraceptives based on this compound would be reversible, the researchers explain, as the protein in question is found only on mature sperm cells. Once bound, it interferes with the cells' ability to swim, which is essential to its role in fertilizing an egg, the scientists showed. New sperm cells were not affected once oubain left the rats' systems.

Related Articles

  • Osborn Williams & Donohoe LLC Lowers Stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

    It is negative, as 100 investors sold FL shares while 131 reduced holdings. 106 funds opened positions while 598 raised stakes. UBS Group set a $190.00 target price on Apple and gave the company a "buy" rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th.
    United States  cities prepare to jockey for ultimate prize in Amazon HQ2 search

    United States cities prepare to jockey for ultimate prize in Amazon HQ2 search

    Some media reports say up to $7.5 billion in state incentives could be in play for the HQ2 site. Florida still has economic incentives, but not as many to choose from as in past years.
    Marvel's Cloak & Dagger Sneak Peek

    Marvel's Cloak & Dagger Sneak Peek

    They part ways after a brief conversation but Johnson later realizes that she deliberately collided into him in order to steal his wallet.
  • Brokerages Set Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) PT at $194.67

    TRXC trades at a P/B of 2.85, and a P/S of 105.01, compared to a forward P/E of 18.13, a P/B of 4.03, and a P/S of 4.31 for BDX . Finally, BidaskClub raised Becton, Dickinson and from a "buy" rating to a "strong-buy" rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th.
    Prince Harry And Meghan Markle

    Prince Harry And Meghan Markle "Keen" To Start A Family

    For months now Samantha Grant has been talking to the media about her childhood memories with her Hollywood sister Meghan Markle . Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle have a lot of things to do before tying the knot in May.

    Wells Fargo & Co Raises Pepsico (PEP) Price Target to $115.00

    PepsiCo had 62 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. (NASDAQ:CONE) on Monday, July 24 with "Buy" rating. Pepsico, Inc . (NYSE: PEP ) now has a Weekly Volatility of 1.14% percent while its Monthly Volatility is at 1.00% percent.
  • Moody's Corporation (MCO) EPS Estimated At $1.40

    Utd Asset Strategies Incorporated stated it has 18,118 shares or 0.27% of all its holdings. 128,819 were reported by Grimes &. Teladoc, Inc. operates a telehealth platform that provides on-demand healthcare services to its members in the United States.
    Hornets Open to Trading Kemba Walker

    Hornets Open to Trading Kemba Walker

    The 27-year old point guard, coming off an All Star season in 2017, is averaging 21.7 points and 5.8 assists per game this season. At the pace that the Jazz are now on, that 2018 first-rounder could potentially be a top-10 selection.

    AstraZeneca (AZN) Earns Coverage Optimism Score of 0.09

    Mirati Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, develops a pipeline of oncology products. Technical traders may be looking at recent indicator levels on shares of Concept Fund Solutions P (XWLD.L).
  • Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets - 1/17/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

    Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets - 1/17/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

    Dwight Powell and Wesley Matthews made sure at least one referee knew what their true feelings were by going right up to his face. The Los Angeles Clippers are averaging 107.5 points on 46.2 percent shooting and allowing 106.7 points on 45.6 percent shooting.

    Huntsman (HUN) Earns Buy Rating from Analysts at Tudor Pickering

    It turned negative, as 31 investors sold HUN shares while 112 reduced holdings. 63 funds opened positions while 159 raised stakes. It has outperformed by 19.11% the S&P500. 411.79 million shares or 1.95% less from 419.99 million shares in 2017Q2 were reported.
    Keith Urban Announces New Album And Tour During Surprise Club Show

    Keith Urban Announces New Album And Tour During Surprise Club Show

    Louis's Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre and will include 10 shows in Canada, the opening act will be announced soon. Country Superstar, Keith Urban , is coming to Winnipeg for one show on September 19th at the BellMTS Centre.