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Biol Reprod. 1985 May;32(4):761-72.

Fertility control in the bitch by active immunization with porcine zonae pellucidae: use of different adjuvants and patterns of estradiol and progesterone levels in estrous cycles.


To determine the changes in patterns of 17 beta-estradiol and progesterone levels underlying abnormal cycles in bitches immunized with solubilized crude porcine zonae pellucidae (cPZP), to attempt to circumvent these problems by immunizing with a purified zona fraction (pPZP), and to test the effectiveness of different adjuvants, bitches were immunized with cPZP or pPZP 2-6 times with no adjuvant, Freund's adjuvant, alum adjuvant, or the adjuvant CP-20,961. The bitch immunized without adjuvant had a low titer with a normal cycle and fertility. Immunization with cPZP and adjuvant produced moderate to high titers of antizona antibodies and infertility. Bitches with high titers experienced abnormal estrous cycles. Estradiol rose during proestrus, but instead of falling sharply in early estrus as in controls, it remained elevated. Progesterone did not rise. The moderate-titered bitches had normal cycles and steroid patterns. Bitches immunized with pPZP had moderate titers. Cycles were normal after 3 injections, but after 6 injections one bitch had an abnormal cycle. One pPZP-immunized bitch remained fertile but the others were infertile. Alum was the mildest adjuvant, causing no injection site lesions, but the highest titers occurred with Freund's and CP-20,961 adjuvants. All three adjuvants induced titers sufficient to inhibit fertility. Infertility in bitches immunized with PZP may be due to prevention of zona penetration, because their antisera inhibited zona penetration of oocytes by spermatozoa in vitro. However, alterations in ovarian function preventing ovulation and luteinization could be involved in high-titered bitches.

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