Oral probenecid improves sperm motility in men with spinal cord injury

Emad Ibrahim, Teodoro C. Aballa, Charles M. Lynne, Nancy L. Brackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Design: Prospective cohort study (twenty men with spinal cord injury [SCI]). Objective: Determine if administration of oral probenecid results in improved sperm motility in men with SCI. Setting: Major university medical center. Methods: Twenty men with SCI were administered probenecid for 4 weeks (250 mg twice a day for 1 week, followed by 500 mg twice a day for 3 weeks). Semen quality was assessed at three time points: pre-treatment, post-treatment (immediately after the 4-week treatment), and follow-up (4 weeks after the last pill was ingested). Result(s): Probenecid was well-tolerated by all subjects. Sperm motility improved in each subject after 4 weeks of oral probenecid. The mean percent of sperm with progressive motility increased from 19% to 26% (P < 0.05). A more striking increase was seen in the mean percent of sperm with rapid linear motility, from 5% to 17%, (P <0.001). This improvement continued into the four week follow up period. Similar improvements were seen in the total motile sperm count (15 million, 28 million, and 27 million at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and follow-up, respectively). Sperm concentration was not significantly different at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and follow-up, (52 million, 53 million and 53 million, respectively). Conclusion: This study showed that administration of an oral agent (probenecid) known to interfere with the pannexin-1 cellular membrane channel, can improve sperm motility in men with spinal cord injury. It is the first study to report improved sperm motility after oral medication in men with SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-570
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 3 2018

Keywords

  • Infertility
  • Inflammasome
  • Probenecid
  • Spermatozoa
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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