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J Reprod Fertil. 2000 May;119(1):15-23.

Differences between antigenic determinants of pig and cat zona pellucida proteins.

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  • 1Institute for Zoo Biology and Wildlife Research, PF 601103, D-10252 Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Despite many efforts, the control of reproduction in feral cat populations is still a problem in urban regions around the world. Immunocontraception is a promising approach; thus the present study examined the suitability of the widely used pig zona pellucida proteins (pZP) for contraception in feral domestic cats. Purified zona pellucida proteins obtained from pig and cat ovaries were used to produce highly specific antisera in rabbits. Antibodies against pZP raised in rabbits or lions were not effective inhibitors of either in vitro sperm binding (cat spermatozoa to cat oocytes) or in vitro fertilization in cats, whereas antibodies against feline zona pellucida proteins (fZP) raised in rabbits showed a dose-dependent inhibition of in vitro fertilization. Immunoelectrophoresis, ELISA and immunohistology of ovaries confirmed these results, showing crossreactivity of anti-fZP sera to fZP and to a lesser extent to pZP, but no interaction of anti-pZP sera with fZP. It is concluded that cat and pig zonae pellucidae express a very small number of shared antigenic determinants, making the use of pZP vaccine in cats questionable. A contraceptive vaccine based on feline zona pellucida determinants will be a better choice for the control of reproduction in feral cats if immunogenity can be achieved.

PMID:
10864809
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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