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Contraception in mice immunized with recombinant zona pellucida subunit 3 proteins correlates with Th2 responses and the levels of interleukin 4 expressed by CD4+ cells



Contraception in mice immunized with recombinant zona pellucida subunit 3 proteins correlates with Th2 responses and the levels of interleukin 4 expressed by CD4+ cells



Reproduction 128(6): 737-745



The immune responses and contraceptive effect in mice were tested following immunization with purified recombinant zona pellucida (ZP) proteins produced using a vaccinia (v) virus T7 mammalian expression system. Female BALB/c and CBA mice were immunized with recombinant mouse (m) ZP3 (vmZP3) or pig (p) ZPC (vpZPC) using Freund's adjuvants and boosted three times. Fertility and mean litter size were significantly reduced in groups of BALB/c mice immunized with recombinant vmZP3 and vpZPC compared with controls treated with Freund's adjuvants alone. In CBA mice, fertility and mean litter size were significantly reduced in groups of animals immunized with vmZP3 but not with vpZPC compared with the controls. Most infertile animals treated with vmZP3 and a single infertile BALB/c mouse treated with vpZPC lacked mature follicles in the ovaries, whilst no abnormalities were detected in the remaining vpZPC treated, fertile vmZP3 treated and control mice. All mice (both fertile and infertile) immunized with vmZP3 and vpZPC produced IgG antibodies, but the levels of total IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a did not correlate with infertility. All BALB/c and CBA mice immunized with vmZP3 and vpZPC showed greater delayed type hypersensitivity responses in the footpads after challenge with their respective antigens than controls, but these did not differ between the fertile and infertile mice. There was, however, a significant correlation between infertility and the levels of the Type 2 T helper cell (Th2) cytokine interleukin 4 produced by CD4+ cells from vmZP3 immunized mice in response to stimulation with vmZP3 and this did not apply to the levels of the Type 1 T helper cell (Th1) cytokine interferon gamma or the general proliferation response. The results support the conclusion that induction of Th2 responses in individual mice determines whether infertility develops in response to immunization with zona pellucida proteins.

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Accession: 004087874

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15579591

DOI: 10.1530/rep.1.00310


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