Characterization of Antibodies Generated Against a Conserved Portion of Oviductal Glycoprotein (OGP) and Endogenous Hamster OGP and Their Ability to Decrease Sperm Binding to the Zona Pellucida In Vitro


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Illinois at Chicago (M/C 808), 820 South Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60612.


PROBLEM: The effect of antibodies generated against hamster oviductal glycoprotein (OGP) on sperm binding to the zona pellucida (ZP) was evaluated.

METHOD OF STUDY: Antibodies against a 17-amino-acid sequence of the OGP core protein (amino acids 52–68) and the denatured hamster OGP protein were generated, characterized, and tested in an in vitro sperm binding assay.

RESULTS: Sperm binding was significantly decreased (P < 0.05) when oviductal oocytes were incubated for 2 hr with 4 or 8 mg/ml of immune IgG of both antibodies when compared with normal rabbit IgG. A fluorescence assay showed binding of both antibodies to the endogenous OGP associated with the ZP of ovulated hamster oocytes. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that OGP may be a potential immunocontraceptive target because both antibodies significantly decreased sperm binding to the ZP of oviductal oocytes. Immunocontraception may be accomplished by attempting to generate active immunity to a recombinant OGP, to the region selected in this study (amino acids 52–68) or to some other region of the core protein.