Scientists have found a way to regulate men's sexual desire

American scientists from Northwestern University of Illinois, conducting experiments on mice, found in the brain tissue a gene that encodes the enzyme aromatase, which is responsible for the transformation of "male" sex hormones into "female. The regulation of this gene will help treat disorders associated with reduced sexual desire. An article about it was published in the journal Endocrinology.

Processes such as the formation of craving for the opposite sex, the manifestation of sexual desire and many others are controlled by sex hormones, "female" estrogens and "male" androgens. Oestrogens (for example, estradiol) and androgens (testosterone) are produced both in men and women. 

In the male body, estrogen is formed from testosterone, and this process is responsible for the enzyme aromatase, which is encoded by the genome Cyp19a1. This gene is present in cells of many tissues and organs, from the glands to the brain. In men with non-working aromas, unable to produce female sex hormones, fertility is reduced, and many vital processes (such as homeostasis) are disturbed.

The team of researchers conducted experiments on mice, parts of which turned off the gene Cyp19a1 exactly in the brain, but not in other tissues of the body. It turned out that this reduced the sexual activity of male mice by half, even despite the high level of testosterone in their blood compared to rodents from the control group.

The fact is that if a healthy male is placed in a cell with a female, the latter will definitely chase her and want to mate with her, say the authors of the study. But if you turn off the gene Cyp19a1 in the brain, the sexual attraction of males will decrease, as well as mating frequency.

When scientists castrated mice at all, that is, when they were deprived of the possibility to produce testosterone and then injected the hormone artificially, the sexuality of animals did not return to a normal level. Only the introduction of both sex hormones worked: testosterone and estrogen.

Specialists have concluded that the transformation of sex hormones in the brain is critical to maintaining normal sexual activity. Regulation of the activity of the aromatase gene may become a potential therapeutic method aimed at correcting sexual behavior and treating disorders associated with libido reduction in men.


Sept. 15, 2020, 10:45 a.m.

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