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

Analysis of the contraceptive potential of antibodies against native and deglycosylated porcine ZP3 in vivo and in vitro.

We have undertaken a comparative analysis of the contraceptive activity of antibodies directed against the porcine sperm receptor zona pellucida antigen (ZP3) and its Mr = 32,000 polypeptide core (DGZP-32). The strategies employed for this analysis included the induction of active immunity in a primate, the common marmoset, and an in vitro fertilization protocol involving the use of viable human ova. In both experimental situations, antibodies against ZP3 were shown to exhibit contraceptive activity, leading respectively to the induction of long-term infertility in the primate model and to the complete inhibition of human fertilization in vitro. The in vivo studies also revealed that the induction of high titer antibodies against ZP3 was inevitably associated with the appearance of an ovarian pathology characterized by the progressive depletion of the primordial follicle pool within one to two years. This side effect could not be alleviated by the use of DGZP-32 as antigen since the induction of immunity against this polypeptide was also associated with the eventual appearance of an ovarian pathology identical to that observed with ZP3. Furthermore, the DGZP-32 peptide was less effective than ZP3 in inducing the formation of antibodies capable of inhibiting the fertilization of human ova in vitro. We conclude that significant problems remain with the use of deglycosylated zona peptides for the development of contraceptive vaccines and that their potential will not be realized until the epitopes responsible for the induction of infertility and the primordial follicle depletion have been identified and segregated.[1]


  1. Analysis of the contraceptive potential of antibodies against native and deglycosylated porcine ZP3 in vivo and in vitro. Paterson, M., Koothan, P.T., Morris, K.D., O'Byrne, K.T., Braude, P., Williams, A., Aitken, R.J. Biol. Reprod. (1992) [Pubmed]
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