Restricted Entry of IgG into Male and Female Rabbit Reproductive Ducts Following Immunization with Recombinant Rabbit PH-20
Article first published online: 20 MAR 2002
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 47, Issue 3, pages 174–182, March 2002
How to Cite
POMERING, M. , JONES, R. C. , HOLLAND, M. K. , BLAKE, A. E. and BEAGLEY, K. W. (2002), Restricted Entry of IgG into Male and Female Rabbit Reproductive Ducts Following Immunization with Recombinant Rabbit PH-20. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 47: 174–182. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0897.2002.1o056.x
- Issue published online: 20 MAR 2002
- Article first published online: 20 MAR 2002
PROBLEM: Successful immunocontraception using sperm antigens is dependent on achieving sufficient sperm-specific antibody in the reproductive ducts to prevent fertilization. The blood : luminal barrier of the male and female reproductive ducts must be overcome for this to occur. We have, therefore, investigated the relative titers of antigen-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) in luminal fluids collected from male and female rabbit reproductive ducts following immunization with recombinant rabbit PH-20 (rPH-20).
METHOD OF STUDY: Male and female rabbits were immunized subcutaneously with rPH-20 in Freund's adjuvant. Reproductive tract fluids and plasma were collected and assayed for specific IgG by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA). Plasma anti-rPH-20 antibodies were tested for their ability to inhibit in vitro fertilization.
RESULTS: Plasma rPH-20-specific IgG titers of >21 × 106 were induced in bucks. Antibody levels in the rete testis and cauda epididymidis fluids were only 0.026 and 0.168% of plasma levels, respectively. Plasma IgG titers were >30 × 106 in does, but antibody levels in free flow vaginal fluid, free flow uterine fluid and free flow oviduct fluid were only 0.016, 0.078 and 0.072% of plasma levels, respectively. Induction of ovulation by administration of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) significantly increased rPH-20-specific IgG only in free flow vaginal fluids. Plasma antibody from immunized rabbits inhibited in vitro fertilization but conception rates following mating of rPH-20 immunized male to untreated female rabbits were not affected.
CONCLUSIONS: The IgG antibody entry into the reproductive ducts of both male and female rabbits is restricted to less than 0.2% of levels induced in plasma following subcutaneous immunization. This finding raises doubts about the suitability of rPH-20 to induce immunocontraception in rabbits using strategies optimized for induction of a serum antibody response. Whether mucosal immunization strategies can achieve this remains to be tested.