A study in the November 2006 issue of Nature Medicine reports that it is possible to induce infertility in rats by specifically targeting germ cell adhesion in the testis.
Throughout spermatogenesis, developing germ cells adhere to Sertoli cells - 'nurse' cells that nurture the developing sperm. If adhesion between these cell types is compromised, infertility can result in men. In the current study, C. Yan Cheng and colleagues disrupted the interaction between germ and Sertoli cells using a recently developed molecule - Adjudin - coupled to a mutant form of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which served to carry the molecule directly to the gonads.
Using this novel delivery approach, the authors induced infertility in adult rats using relatively low doses of the molecule with no obvious side effects. Future studies must now explore whether this approach is equally effective in men.
C. Yan Cheng (Population Council, Center for Biomedical Research, New York, NY, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza