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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vaccine for contraception targeting sperm.

Development of a vaccine(s) based on sperm antigens represents a promising approach to contraception. The utility of a sperm antigen in immunocontraception is contingent upon its tissue specificity, involvement in fertility and on raising high antibody titer, especially locally in the genital tract, that is capable of inducing reversible infertility. Several sperm antigens, such as lactate dehydrogenase C4, PH-20, sperm protein (SP)-10, fertilization antigen (FA)-1, FA-2, cleavage signal (CS)-1, NZ-1, and NZ-2 have been proposed as potential candidates for the vaccine development. Spermzona pellucida (ZP) binding is a pivotal tissue- and mostly species-specific event in the fertilization process, and the molecules involved in this site constitute the most exciting candidates for immuno-contraception. FA-1 is a sperm-specific glycoprotein having receptor activity for ZP recognition and binding. Complementary DNA encoding for FA-1 antigen has been cloned and sequenced. Active immunization of animals with recombinant FA-1 antigen causes a long-lasting reversible inhibition in fertility by raising a sperm-specific immune response. This antigen is also involved in human immunoinfertility. The exciting findings from the recent trial in immunoinfertile couples indicate that the FA-1 antigen may have clinical application in the treatment of male infertility. A vaccine having most appropriate tissue-specific and effective recombinant and/or synthetic epitopes of various sperm antigens, such as the FA-1 antigen, in a single formulation may provide a highly immunogenic and efficacious antisperm vaccine for contraception. The advances made during the last 5 years suggest that it may be a realistic proposition.[1]


  1. Vaccine for contraception targeting sperm. Naz, R.K. Immunol. Rev. (1999) [Pubmed]
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