Question of the Day – Monday December 18, 2017

Question: Which drug, also known as compound RU 36486 has been used as an abortifacient?

Answer: The cited reference notes: ”In the early 1980s, the identification of mifepristone was both an important milestone in steroid research and a laboratory mistake. Researchers could claim that they now had agonists and antagonists for the five major classes of steroid hormones: estrogens, androgens, mineralocorticoids and, now, progestins, and glucocorticoids. While the French researchers from Roussel-Uclaff were hoping for a pure anti- glucocorticoid, their compound RU 36486, shortened to RU 486, also had anti-progesterone properties, making it a likely abortifacient with all the accompanying moral, political and economic problems.” (Schaff EA. Mifepristone: ten years later. 2010 Contraception 81:1-7)