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Mol Reprod Dev. 2009 Aug;76(8):794-801. doi: 10.1002/mrd.21027.

Immunocontraceptive potential of the Ig-like domain of Izumo.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China.

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  • Mol Reprod Dev. 2009 Aug;76(8):802.


To investigate whether the Ig-like domain of sperm protein Izumo or the other part of the protein could be used as an immunocontraceptive antigen, three partially overlapping cDNA fragments (PA, PB, and PC), together covering entire mouse Izumo, were cloned, expressed, and purified. PB contains the whole Ig-like domain of mouse Izumo. The anti-PB antibody significantly inhibited the fusion of sperm with zona-free mouse eggs with no effect on sperm motility, while anti-PA and anti-PC antibodies virtually had no effect on sperm-egg fusion at the same concentration. Furthermore, in the presence of anti-PB antibody, the anti-sperm reactivity could be competitively inhibited by recombinant PB protein. The PB-specific antibody staining was restricted to the acrosome region in acrosome-reacted mouse spermatozoa by indirect immunofluorescence. Active immunization with the PB antigen sharply raised the antibody titers in mouse that were enough to cause a significant reduction in fertility compared to the PA and PC immunized groups. In conclusion, our data indicate that the Ig-like domain of Izumo plays an important role in the fertilization process, as verified by the dose-dependent reduction in fertilization rates in mouse IVF trials and mouse mating assay. These results indicate that the Ig-like domain of Izumo might be a new candidate for the development of a contraceptive vaccine.

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