Thursday March 21, 2019

Checkpoint Protein (CHK2) Inhibitor Drug to Protect Women’s Infertility Post Cancer Treatments

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Sep 02, 2017: An existing drug may one day protect premenopausal women from infertility that commonly follows cancer treatments, new research has found.

Women who are treated for cancer with radiation or certain chemotherapy drugs are commonly rendered sterile.

Women are born with a lifetime reserve of oocytes, or immature eggs, but those oocytes are among the most sensitive cells in the body and may be wiped out by such cancer treatments.

The new findings, published in the journal Genetics, raises hope of curbing infertility from cancer treatment.

The study builds on his 2014 research that identified a so-called checkpoint protein (CHK2) that becomes activated when oocytes are damaged by radiation.

Checkpoint protein functions in a pathway that eliminates oocytes with DNA damage, a natural function to protect against giving birth to offspring bearing new mutations.

When the researchers irradiated mice lacking the CHK2 gene, the oocytes survived, eventually repaired the DNA damage, and the mice gave birth to healthy pups.

Also Read: Treatment with Uterine Fibroids helps to restore Fertility in Women

The new study explored whether the checkpoint 2 pathway could be chemically inhibited.

“It turns out there were pre-existing CHK2 inhibitor drugs that were developed, ironically enough, for cancer treatment, but they turned out not to be very useful for treating cancer,” said study senior author John Schimenti, Professor at Cornell University in New York.

“By giving mice the inhibitor drug, a small molecule, it essentially mimicked the knockout of the checkpoint gene,” first author Vera Rinaldi, a graduate student in Schimenti’s lab, said.

By inhibiting the checkpoint pathway, the oocytes were not killed by radiation and remained fertile, enabling birth of normal pups, the study said.

“While humans and mice have different physiologies, and there is much work to be done to determine safe and effective dosages for people, it is clear that we have the proof of principle for this approach,” Schimenti said. (IANS)

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Household Contaminants May Cause Infertility in Men, Dogs

The researchers carried out identical experiments for both species using samples of sperm from donor men and stud dogs, living in the same region

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The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. pixabay

Environmental contaminants found in home and diet have the same adverse effects on male fertility both in humans and domestic dogs, finds a new study highlighting the decline in sperm quality in both the species over the past few years.

The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed the chemicals — at concentrations relevant to environmental exposure — have the same damaging effect on sperm of both man and dog.

“We know when human sperm motility is poor, DNA fragmentation is increased and that human male infertility is linked to increased levels of DNA damage in sperm,” said co-author Rebecca Sumner, postdoctoral student at the University of Nottingham, Britain.

“We now believe this is the same in pet dogs because they live in the same domestic environment and are exposed to the same household contaminants,” Sumner said.

Family walk with dog. Pixabay

For the study, the team tested the effects of two man-made chemicals — the common plasticiser DEHP, widely used in the home (e.g. carpets, clothes, toys) and the industrial chemical polychlorinated biphenyl 153, which although banned globally, remains widely detectable in the environment, including food.

The researchers carried out identical experiments for both species using samples of sperm from donor men and stud dogs, living in the same region.

Also Read- Now The Delhi Government Comes Up With The Food Wastage Check Policy At Social Gatherings

“This new study supports our theory that the domestic dog is indeed a ‘sentinel’ or mirror for human male reproductive decline. Our findings suggest man-made chemicals, widely used in home and working environment, may be responsible for the decline in sperm quality,” lead author Richard Lea from the varsity noted. (IANS)