Blockade of calcium channels – a perspectiveof male contraception?

Authors: D. Driák 1;  I. Švandová 2
Authors‘ workplace: Gynekologicko-porodnická klinika 1. LF UK a Nemocnice Na Bulovce, Praha, přednosta prof. MUDr. M. Halaška, DrSc. 1;  Katedra fyziologie, Přírodovědecká fakulta UK, Praha 2
Published in: Ceska Gynekol 2013; 78(2): 216-220


Besides condoms and vasectomy with their own limitations, no other reliable methods of contraception are available to men. Ion channels play a key role in maturation, capacitation and acrosome reaction of sperms. Blockade of calcium channels with pharmacological inhibitors or compounds isolated from plant extracts might be suggested as one of promising mechanisms of future male contraceptives.

male contraception – calcium channels – blockade


1. Anand, RJK., Kanwar, U., Sanyal, SN., et al. Calcium channel antagonist verapamil modulates human spermatozoal functions. Res Exp Med (Berl), 1994, 194, p. 165–178.

2. Anderson, RA. Male steroidal contraception. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care, 2004, 9, suppl 1, p. 27.

3. Arnoult, C., Cardullo, RA., Lemos, JR., et al. Activation of mouse sperm T-type Ca2+ channels by adhesion to the egg zona pellucida. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1996, 93, p. 13004–13009.

4. Arnoult, C., Villaz, M., Florman, HM. Pharmacological properties of the T-type Ca2+ current of mouse spermatogenic cells. Mol Pharmacol, 1998, 53, p. 1104–1111.

5. Bean, BP. Classes of calcium channels in vertebrate cells. Ann Rev Physiol, 1989, 51, p. 367–384.

6. Benoff, S., Cooper, GW., Hurley, I., et al. The effect of calcium ion channel blockers on sperm fertilization potential. Fertil Steril, 1994, 62, p. 606–617.

7. Benoff, S., Hurley, I., Cooper, GW., et al. Fertilization potential in vitro is correlated with head-specific mannose-ligand receptor expression, acrosome status and membrane cholesterol content. Hum Reprod, 1993, 8, p. 2155–2166.

8. Clapham, DE. Calcium signaling. Cell, 1995, 80, p. 259–268.

9. Conway, GA., Slocumb, JC. Plants used as abortifacients and emmenagogues by Spanish New Mexicans. J Ethnopharmacol, 1979, 1, p. 241–261.

10. Coutinho, EM. Gossypol: a contraceptive for men. Contra-ception, 2002, 65, p. 259–263.

11. Deshpande, VY., Mendulkar, KN., Sadre, NL. Male antifertility activity of Azadirachta Indica in mice. J Postgrad Med, 1980, 26, p. 167–170.

12. Goodwin, LO., Leeds, NB., Hurley, I., et al. Isolation and characterisationof the primary structure of testis-specific L-type calcium channel: implication for contraception. Mol Hum Reprod, 1997, 3, p. 255–268.

13. Gu, ZP., Mao, BY., Wang, YX., et al. Low dose gossypol for male contraception. Asian J Androl, 2000, 2, p. 283–287.

14. Hadley, MA., Lin, YC., Dym, M. Effects of gossypol on the reproductive system of male rats. J Androl, 1981, 2, p. 190–199.

15. Hagiwara, N., Irisawa, H., Kameyama, M. Contribution of two types of calcium currents to the pacemaker potentials of rabbit sino-atrial node cells. J Physiol, 1988, 395, p. 233–253.

16. Hagiwara, S., Kawa, K. Calcium and potassium currents in spermatogenic cells dissociated from rat seminiferous tubules.J Physiol, 1984, 356, p. 135–149.

17. Herrington, J., Lingle, CJ. Kinetic and pharmacological properties of low voltage-activated Ca2+ current in rat clonal (GH3) pituitary cells. J Neurophysiol, 1992, 68, p. 213–232.

18. Hershlag, A., Cooper, GW., Benoff, S. Pregnancy following discontinuation of a calcium channel blocker in the male partner. Hum Reprod, 1995, 10, p. 599–606.

19. Huguenard, JR. Low-threshold calcium currents in central neurons. Ann Rev Physiol, 1996, 58, p. 329–348.

20. Kanwar, U., Anand, RJK., Sanyal, SN. The effect of nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker, on human spermatozoal functions. Contraception, 1993, 48, p. 453–470.

21. Kanwar, U., Batla, A., Sanyal, S., et al. Gossypol inhibition of Ca2+ uptake and Ca2+-ATPase in human ejaculated spermatozoal plasma membrane vesicles. Contraception, 1989, 39, p. 431–445.

22. Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., Gorji, A. Natural remedies for impotence in medieval Persia. Int J Impotence Res, 2004, 16, p. 80–83.

23. Ma, XH., Shi, YL. Ion channels of mammalian and human sperm membrane. Prog Physiol Sci 1998, 29, p. 109–114.

24. McDonald, TF., Pelzer, S., Trautwein, W., Pelzer DJ. Regulation and modulation of calcium channels in cardiac, skeletal, and smooth muscle cells. Physiol Rev, 1994, 74, p. 365–507.

25. Pakrashi, A., Pakrasi, PL. Antispermatogenic effect of the extract of Aristolochia indica Linn on male mice. Indian J Exp Biol, 1977, 15, p. 256–259.

26. Prakash, AO., Saxena, V., Shukla, S., et al. Anti-implantation activity of some indigenous plants in rats. Acta Eur Fertil, 1985, 16, p. 441–448.

27. Qian, SZ., Xu, Y., Zhang, JW. Recent progress in research on Tripterygium: a male antifertility plant. Contraception, 1995, 51, p. 121–129.

28. Sailani, MR., Moeini, H. Effect of Ruta graveolens and Cannabis sativa alcoholic extract on spermatogenesis in the adult wistar male rats. Indian J Urol, 2007, 23, p. 257–260.

29. Santi, CM., Darszon, A., Arturo, H. A dihydropyridine-sensitive T-type Ca2+ current is the main Ca2+ current in mouse primary spermatocytes. Am J Physiol, 1996, 271, p. C1583–C1593.

30. Shi, QX., Friend, DS. Gossypol-induced inhibition of guinea pig sperm capacitation in vitro. Biol Reprod 1983, 29, p. 1027–1032.

31. Shi, QX., Tso, WW., Friend, DS. Gossypol inhibition of spermatogenes is, sperm motility and metabolism. In: Mohri, H. ed. New horizons in sperm cell res earch. Tokyo: Japan Sci Soc Press/New York: Gordon and Breach Sci Publication, 1987, p. 389–408.

32. Shi, YL., Bai, JP., Wang, WP. Ion-channels in human sperm membrane and contraceptive mechanisms of male antifertility compounds derived from Chinese traditional medicine. Acta Pharmacol Sin, 2003, 24, p. 22–30.

33. Teng, CS. Reversible changes in cellular and microtubular tubulin in spermatogenic cells after gossypol treatment. Contraception, 1997, 55, 183–188.

34. Tsien, RW., Lipscombe, D., Madison, D., et al. Reflections on Ca2+ diversity. Trends Neurosci, 1995, 18, p. 52–54.

35. Tsien, RW., Tsien, RY. Calcium channels, stores and oscilla-tions. Ann Rev Cell Biol, 1990, 6, p. 715–760

36. Venma, PK., Sharma, A., Mathur, A., et al. Effect of Sarco-stemma acidum stem extract on spermatogenesis in male albino rats. Asian J Androl, 2002, 4, p. 43–47.

37. Zvěřina, J. Sexuologie (nejen) pro lékaře. Brno: Akademické nakladatelství CERM, 2003, 288 s.

Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine
Forgotten password

Don‘t have an account?  Create new account

Forgotten password

Enter the email address that you registered with. We will send you instructions on how to set a new password.


Don‘t have an account?  Create new account