Unintended pregnancies are a major health issue worldwide. Although oral contraceptives were developed decades ago for use in women, there are no male oral contraceptives. Miyata et al. show that genetic deletion or drug inhibition of sperm-specific calcineurin enzymes in mice cause male sterility (see the Perspective by Castaneda and Matzuk). Although calcineurin inhibitors resulted in male infertility within 2 weeks, fertility recovered 1 week after halting drug administration. Because the sperm-specific calcineuin complex is also found in humans, its inhibition may be a strategy for developing reversible male contraceptives.
H. Miyata, Y. Satouh, D. Mashiko, M. Muto, K. Nozawa, K. Shiba, Y. Fujihara, A. Isotani, K. Inaba, M. Ikawa, Sperm calcineurin inhibition prevents mouse fertility with implications for male contraceptive. Science 350, 442–445 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]