Sperm Motility Inhibited in Study of Male Macaques
Male contraceptive targets under development focus on sperm production or sperm delivery (blockage or loss of function). One protein of particular interest is EPPIN, found on the surface of spermatozoa. Scientists have found that EP055, a small organic compound that targets EPPIN, can inhibit sperm motility.
In the study of four macaques, sperm motility fell to approximately 20% of pretreatment levels within six hours of infusing a high dose of the compound EP055. No normal motility was observed at 30 hours post-infusion. Motility recovery was obvious by 78 hours post-infusion with full recovery in all animals by 18 days post-infusion. While EP055 has not yet been tested in humans, these findings suggest that EPPIN could be a logical non-hormonal contraceptive target.
This research was conducted with support from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.