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Fertil Steril. 1980 Oct;34(4):328-35.

Observations on the antigenicity and clinical effects of a candidate antipregnancy vaccine: beta-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin linked to tetanus toxoid.


Observations on the antibody response and clinical effects of injection of purified beta-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin covalently linked to tetanous toxoid were made in 15 healthy young women who had previously undergone tubal ligation. Antibodies detectable by radioimmunoassay were found in 14 of the women. Clinical surveillance and immunologic, hematologic, and biochemical tests indicated excellent local and systemic tolerance to the antigen. No significant adverse effects on menstrual function, endocrine status, or health were found.


A vaccine for pregnancy prevention made of purified beta-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) covalently linked to tetanous toxoid was tested in 15 healthy women who had previously undergone tubal ligation. The objectives of the trial described were to 1) evaluate the magnitude, constancy, and duration of the antibody response; 2) to determine whether immunization gave any evidence of toxicity or unwanted side reactions; 3) to determine whether the antibodies neutralized the biologic activity of hCG in vitro and in vivo test systems; and 4) to examine the cross-reactions between the antibodies and other glycoprotein hormones. This was a multicentered clinical trial with 1 clinic each in Sweden, Finland, Chile, and Brazil participating. 14 of 15 women had antibodies detectable by radioimmunoassay, the longest response lasting 400 days after injection. Duration of response to hCG antibody varied among participants. Clinical and immunological, hematological, and biochemical surveillance of the study participants lasted over 2 years, and during that time no significant signs of local or systemic intolerance to the vaccine were noted. Menstrual and endocrine changes were evaluated, and, aside from 1 case of 120-day amenorrhea postinjection, menstrual and endocrine changes were judged insignificant or unrelated to the vaccine. Body weight increase was the single greatest complaint among the women involved, followed by breast and andexal tenderness, and in a few cases colostrum development. In vitro, antisera were capable of neutralizing the activity of hCG in stimulating testosterone production in Leydig cell cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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