Kinin-enhancing drugs for unexplained subfertility in men

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
P VandekerckhoveE Hughes


Oligo-astheno-teratospermia (sperm of low concentration, reduced motility and increased abnormal morphology) of unknown cause is common and the need for treatment is felt by patients and doctors alike. As a result, a variety of empirical, non-specific treatments have been used in an attempt to improve semen characteristics and fertility. One suggested treatment for idiopathic oligo- and/or asthenospermia is the administration of kallikrein (kallidinogenase), a kinin-releasing enzyme (or kininogenase). The kinin biological system is complex and involves kininogen (the substrate), kininogenases (the activating enzymes), kinins (the effectors) and kininases (the inactivating enzymes). All four components of the kinin system have been found in the genitalia and in semen. Kallikrein releases 2 major kinins, kallidin and bradykinin, from seminal plasma kininogens. Activated kinins in semen affect sperm motility and metabolism. In vitro addition of kallikrein to semen has been shown to have a positive effect on sperm motility, sperm velocity, cervical mucus penetration, penetration of zona-free hamster eggs and post-thaw survival and motility rate after semen cryopreservation. The latter observation, however, was not confirmed in a mo...Continue Reading


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