Male contraception through pharmacological blockade of alpha1A-adrenoceptors and P2X1-purinoceptors

The search for a viable male contraceptive target has been a medical challenge for many years. Most strategies have focused on hormonal strategies to inhibit sperm production or germline strategies to produce dysfunctional sperm that are incapable of fertilization. The problem with such approaches is that they have intolerable side effects such as affecting male characteristics and sexual activity or causing long term irreversible effects on fertility. In addition, some developmental strategies may transmit detrimental changes to future offspring.

This project investigates a male contraceptive target within the autonomic nervous system, which would not affect the long term viability of sperm nor the sexual or general health of males. In addition, due to the nature of the target, the contraceptive has the potential to be orally administered and readily reversible. This project uses genetically modified mice and pharmacological agents to investigate the viability of this target using behavioural mating studies, isolated tissue experiments, sperm analysis, in vitro fertilization, immunohistochemistry, molecular biology and in vivo cardiovascular physiology experiments.