Protein against infertility
Scientists cured male infertility in mice without gene therapy
Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+
The peculiarity of experimental therapy is the direct delivery of the drug to the testes, and this is the first success of this kind. After treatment, healthy offspring were born in mice. The results indicate the prospects of such an approach in humans.
Male infertility is the cause of at least a third of all cases of problems with conception. Often problems arise due to a lack of sperm in the seminal fluid, which may be the result of damage in the hemato-testicular barrier. This barrier protects reproductive cells from various toxic substances, and the PIN1 protein (Prolyl Isomerase 1) is very important for its proper functioning.
To cope with this pathology, scientists began to develop a system for direct delivery of therapeutic proteins directly to the testes, according to a press release from the American Chemical Society Delivering proteins to tests could someday treat male infertility.
Article Pin1 et al. Intratesticular Peptidyl Prolyl Isomerase 1 Protein Delivery Using Cationic Lipid-Coated Fibroin Nanoparticle Complexes Rescues Male Infertility in Mice is published in the journal ACS Nano – VM.
Among other potential treatment options, gene therapy was considered, but the high risks of possible side effects forced scientists to focus on the first strategy.
The new delivery method was called Fibroplex. The "package" consists of nanoparticles of fibroin and lipids, which is loaded with PIN1 proteins. This composition proved to be safe for mice and did not cause any signs of toxicity.
The therapy almost completely restored PIN1 levels and the number of stem cells, as well as coped with damage in the hemato-testicular barrier.
After about five months, healthy offspring were born in previously infertile mice. Its quantity was the same as that of initially healthy rodents.
This is the first demonstration of protein delivery to the testes, which has successfully coped with the problem of infertility, scientists emphasize. The team will continue research to bring the experimental therapy closer to testing in humans.
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