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Assessment of contraceptive vaccines based on recombinant mouse sperm protein PH20.

Pest Animal Control Cooperative Research Centre, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, GPO Box 284, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
Reproduction (Cambridge, England) (Impact Factor: 3.26). 04/2004; 127(3):325-34. DOI: 10.1530/rep.1.00016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mouse PH20 (mPH20), the mouse homologue to guinea pig hyaluronidase protein PH20 (gpPH20), was used to produce contraceptive vaccines that target both sexes of mice. Previously, immunization with a female gamete antigen (the zona pellucida subunit 3 protein) delivered in a recombinant murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), or as a purified recombinant protein, has been shown to induce infertility in female mice. There is evidence, however, that sperm protein antigens could provide broader contraceptive coverage by affecting both males and females, and the most promising has been gpPH20 when tested in a guinea pig model. Mice were therefore either inoculated with a recombinant MCMV expressing mPH20 or immunized directly with purified recombinant mPH20 protein fused to maltose-binding protein. Mice treated with either vaccine formulation developed serum antibodies that cross-reacted to a protein band of 55 kDa corresponding to mPH20 in Western blots of mouse sperm. However, there was no significant reduction in the fertility of males or females compared with control animals with either formulation. We conclude from our data that recombinant mPH20 is not a useful antigen for inclusion in immunocontraceptive vaccines that target mice.

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