Nav: Home

'Marijuana receptor' might hold the key to new fertility treatments for men

April 08, 2016

In a research report appearing in the April 2016 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists show that a cannabinoid receptor, called "CB2," helps regulate the creation of sperm. Not only does this provide more evidence that marijuana can disrupt fertility in males, but it also suggests a therapeutic strategy for treating male infertility.

"The possibility to improve male fertility is one of the main focuses of this study, since infertility is a worldwide problem that affect up to 15% of couples in which male factors account for almost 20-70%," said Paola Grimaldi, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, School of Medicine at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy.

To make their discovery, Grimaldi and colleagues treated three groups of mice with different agents for 14 to 21 days. The first group was treated with a specific activator of the CB2 receptor. The second group was treated with a specific inhibitor of the CB2 receptor. The third group received only a saline solution and served as the control group. The group treated with the CB2 activator showed an acceleration of spermatogenesis, while the group treated with the inhibitor displayed a slower rate of the process. This suggests that a tight balance of CB2 activation is required for the proper progression of spermatogenesis.

"That the normal beneficial effects of endogenous cannabinoids on spermatogenesis can be stimulated further by a chemical mimic, an agonist, is a potentially promising new idea for treating male infertility," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.
-end-
Submit your research to The FASEB Journal by visiting http://fasebj.msubmit.net/ or http://submit.fasebj.org. Receive monthly highlights from The FASEB Journal by signing up at http://www.faseb.org/fjupdate.aspx. The FASEB Journal is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is among the world's most cited biology journals according to the Institute for Scientific Information and has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century.

FASEB is composed of 30 societies with more than 125,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.

Details: Daniele Di Giacomo, Emanuela De Domenico, Claudio Sette, Raffaele Geremia, and Paola Grimaldi. Type 2 cannabinoid receptor contributes to the physiological regulation of spermatogenesis. FASEB J. April 2016 30:1453-1463; Final publication April 1, 2016. Early online publication December 15, 2015. doi:10.1096/fj.15-279034 ; http://www.fasebj.org/content/30/4/1453.abstract

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related Infertility Articles:

Chlamydia in testicular tissue linked to male infertility
The potential impact of undiagnosed sexually transmitted chlamydia infection on men's fertility has been highlighted in a study led by scientists at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), which for the first time found chlamydia in the testicular tissue biopsies of infertile men whose infertility had no identified cause.
Infertility's roots in DNA packaging
Japanese researchers find one cause of infertility is the incomplete development of the proteins packaging DNA in sperm cells.
Infertility is linked to small increased risk of cancer
A study of over 64,000 women of childbearing age in the USA has found that infertility is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer compared to a group of over three million women without fertility problems, although the absolute risk is very low at just 2 percent.
Breakthrough in understanding male infertility
Newcastle University experts have identified the importance of gene, RBMXL2, which is similar to an infertility gene found on the Y chromosome, in regulating the production of fully-functioning sperm.
Duration of infertility in men may affect sperm count
A longer duration of infertility was associated with lower sperm count and other parameters of impaired sperm in a BJU International study of 1644 infertile men.
UCLA research may explain some causes of infertility and miscarriage
A new study in the journal Nature Cell Biology has uncovered information about a key stage that human embryonic cells must pass through just before an embryo implants.
Asthma medication linked to infertility in women
Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to international research led by the University of Adelaide.
New Lancaster study 'reimagines infertility'
New research from Lancaster University has identified the 'invisible infertile', a group of marginalized people missing from survey data sources because they do not fit neatly into popular notions of who is at risk of infertility.
Infertility linked to higher risk of death among women
Women with a history of infertility have a 10 percent increased risk of death compared to those without reported infertility struggles, according to results of a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
New technique overcomes genetic cause of infertility
Scientists have created healthy offspring from genetically infertile male mice, offering a potential new approach to tackling a common genetic cause of human infertility.
More Infertility News and Infertility Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab