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Potential Male Contraceptive Agent Studied in Rats

l-CDB-4022 leads to testicular atrophy and germ cell loss

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A potential non-hormonal male contraceptive, l-CDB-4022, appears to block fertility in rats by affecting multiple pathways in the testes, and leading to germ cell loss, according to research published in Endocrinology in January.

Sailaja Koduri, M.D., of BIOQUAL, Inc., in Rockville, Md., and colleagues treated male rats with a single oral dose of l-CDB-4022 or vehicle, and evaluated the rats' serum hormone levels and conducted studies on the testes at various time points.

l-CDB-4022 caused a significant loss of testicular weight. The contraceptive also decreased serum levels of inhibin B and increased FSH levels, but did not affect activin A, testosterone or LH levels. In the testes, treatment with l-CDB-4022 led to decreased expression of prosurvival factors, disrupted the Sertoli cell microtubule network, and induced the proapoptotic factor Fas, leading to loss of germ cells from the seminiferous epithelium.

"In conclusion, l-CDB-4022 affects multiple proteins and pathways in the rat testis leading to germ cell loss," the authors write. "Additional experiments will be required to determine whether the blood-testis barrier has been disrupted in male rates by l-CDB-4022, leading to irreversible infertility."

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