One injection instead of surgical castration?



Can a single use of a contraceptive sterilize my cat for good? No classic means used so far, but there is a chance for a new one that will work for many years.

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Can a single use of a contraceptive sterilize my cat for good? No classic means used so far, but there is a chance for a new one that will work for many years.

Until now, this method has only been used in mice. According to scientists, it can be an alternative to sterilization of free-living cats.
Previous research has shown that a certain adenovirus can serve as a vector that transfers DNA sequences into cells and forces them to produce specific antibodies known to fight infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and hepatitis C.
The same method could be used to sterilize animals, according to a new study published in Current Biology. The virus is used to transfer a gene that, when combined with the DNA of cells, forces them to produce antibodies that neutralize the hormone gonadotrophin in mice. Gonadotrophin is the primary fertility regulator in vertebrates. It stimulates the secretion of pituitary hormones, which are directly responsible for the formation of eggs and sperm. Without these hormones, the animal becomes sterile. In older experiments, the obtained effect of loss of fertility was transient. In the present study, it was possible to extend this time to about 2 months in some mice. Most mice were sterile for the rest of their lives.
According to Professor of Biology and Genetic Engineering, Bruca Hay of the California Institute of Technology, inhibiting gonadotropins is an ideal way to sterilize as well as alleviate sex hormone-related behaviors such as aggression and territoriality.
Surgical sterilization is quite time-consuming and costly. Scientists believe that a genetically engineered method called vector contraception, which in practice consists of a single injection that lasts for the rest of the animal's life, is the method of the future.

source: futurity.org


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