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J Reprod Fertil. 1994 Jul;101(2):295-303.

Characterization of antigenicity and immunogenicity patterns of native and recombinant zona pellucida proteins in the white-tailed deer (Oidocoileus virginianus).

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


The effectiveness of zona pellucida antigens in immunizing white-tailed deer to reduce fertility was evaluated by analysing the constituent deer zona pellucida proteins and their immunogenicity. Does were immunized with porcine zona pellucida antigens. The antibodies were characterized using immunohistochemical and immunoblot analysis, in which zona pellucida proteins were separated by one-dimensional and two-dimensional PAGE. Deer anti-porcine zona pellucida antibodies were found to recognize all the major proteins of the porcine zona pellucida. These antibodies also recognized several proteins of deer zona pellucida, indicating that it is possible to break immune tolerance in the deer using such a protocol. The antibodies were also found to recognize peptides of 55 and 75 kDa that were produced by expressing cDNA clones containing antigens of major glycoproteins of rabbit zona pellucida. Furthermore, antibodies against rabbit zonae pellucidae recognized antigens in zonae of paraffin-embedded deer ovaries. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate the crossreactive nature of a number of zona pellucida epitopes found in deer and in several other species. They also illustrate the immunogenicity possible in such an immunization protocol, and provide valuable probes for the investigation of follicular development in this and other species.

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