Journal article

Novel immunocontraceptive targets in mammals: uterine secretions and the conceptus; a marsupial approach

EM Menkhorst, S Cui, L Selwood

REPRODUCTION | BIOSCIENTIFICA LTD | Published : 2008

Abstract

We report the first immunocontraceptive trial in mammals using a uterine-secreted protein, the marsupial shell coat protein 4 (CP4). The marsupial shell coat, which surrounds the conceptus for 60-80% of gestation, is secreted by the uterine epithelium. Following immunization against glutathione S-transferase (GST)-CP4, the fertility of female common brushtail possums (n=6) was significantly reduced (P=0.000), and this reduction in fertility was positively correlated with the maximum GST-CP4 humoral immune response (P=0.025). Ultrastructural examination of the reproductive tract indicated that the cell-mediated immune response against GST-CP4 targeted the shell coat, the shell-free conceptus ..

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