PerspectiveDevelopmental Biology

Toward a rapid and reversible male pill

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Science  23 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6259, pp. 385-386
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad4425

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The population of our planet continues to rise at a rapid rate and is reaching unsustainable numbers. The Strategic Plan 2000 of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) states that uncontrolled fertility “is one of the most pressing public health challenges facing the world today” (1). However, while women have had the freedom to control their own reproductive destiny with the “pill” for more than 50 years, there remains no oral contraceptive for men. On page 442 of this issue, Miyata et al. (2) demonstrate that genetic disruption of either the catalytic subunit (PPP3CC) or the regulatory subunit (PPP3R2) of sperm-specific calcineurin or short-term in vivo pharmacological inhibition with cyclosporine A or FK506 yields dysfunctional mouse sperm incapable of proper motility toward the egg.