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Adjudin – One More Option in the Choice of Contraception

You would not possibly find a man who can choose a beer he wants when it is only one kind of it. Or you could hardly manipulate him saying “Honey, you can stay at home with me helping to do our laundry and don’t go with your friends to watch Friday night’s soccer OR you can not go with your friends and stay with me…. (Plus nice sweet smile on your face to mild his confusion before he understands what it boils down to). Yes, you should have OPTIONS to get men into choosing something, including beer and contraception. We are living in times when such options are constantly invented and tested. Then, when the choice is big and interesting a man can find just the kind of “beer” he wants.

Once discovered a contraceptive effect in an anti-cancer medication lonidamine (1980s) and after it lost it’s potentially profit future as a male contraceptive pill right ahead as it caused kidney damage a new alternative way was created. It was a long and not an easy work of a group of scientists at nonprofit contraceptive research organization - New York’s Population Council - to find a medication with similar contraceptive effect but with less toxic compounds. An analogue of an old brother Lonidamine – Adjudin (or AF-2364) was finally invented in the late 1990s.

How does Adjudin give a contraceptive effect?

It disturbs the process of sperm maturation in the testes. Immature sperm must undergo a number of cellular changes in order to become functional sperm; one of these changes is actually to recognize an egg for further fertilization. Sertoli cells are connected with immature sperm though “bridges” that provide all information for becoming such a functional sperm. Adjudin breaks these bridges between Sertoli cells and immature sperm before the maturation processes is over. Such sperm are not able to fertilize an egg as it is molecularly incomplete.

The trials are on the second stage, Adjudin has been tested only on rats for now. When rats were treated with Adjudin they get their contraceptive effect for a couple of weeks and then regain full fertility within 5 months.

Adjudin is actually a hormone, and as all hormones it affects the entire body. Given orally to male mice it induces infertility. It also causes muscle atrophy and significant side effects in the liver. With a new non-hormonal approach Adjudin must be delivered directly to the testes. A molecule called Adjudin was attached to a molecule called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This modified FSH is shaped differently enough that it no longer functions as a hormone. FSH has its receptors only in the testes, Sertoli cells in the testes are the only one to recognize it and bind to it. After the direct injection into the mouse’s abdomen new FSH + Adjudin gets right to the testes, that greatly reduces the side effects. Another good news - most of the mice loose fertility but regain it in 6 - 12 weeks. Rather promising reversible matter.

As with the new approach a very small dose is needed there are no observed side effects in rats. All remain normal – their hormones, body and testes weight.

To get before-Adjudin state rats need approximately 5 months.  

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The entire story about new Adjudin-FSH compound of course is fine except the very fact of injection RIGHT into the ones belly. For such a contraceptive effect there are too many shots into the belly of men who hate being injected in general. Hm.. Just think of how much of them are ready to endue that? This is actually a nice way for further researches. For example some researches to make the Adjudin-FSH compound into a gel or nasal spray. Researchers are also working to develop some kind of matchstick-sized implant.

So, is Adjudin coming out soon? Adjudin has many years of development work ahead to complete all the staged of trials and the final stage of getting on the shelves is far beyond the horizon. Well, men, perhaps one kind of “beer” is better for now because you know what to expect, what size of belly would grow, what kind of mood you would have and that kids are not in the list of consequences.

Valentyna Ant.

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