DNA Immunization Against Proacrosin Impairs Fertility in Male Mice

Authors

  • Lucila García,

    1. Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Ciudad Universitaria, Santa Fe, Argentina
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  • María F. Veiga,

    1. Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental (IBYME), National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Livia Lustig,

    1. Instituto de Investigaciones en Reproducción, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Mónica H. Vazquez-Levin,

    Corresponding author
    • Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental (IBYME), National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina
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    • Mónica H. Vazquez-Levin and Carolina Veaute equally contributed to the work.
  • Carolina Veaute

    1. Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Ciudad Universitaria, Santa Fe, Argentina
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    • Mónica H. Vazquez-Levin and Carolina Veaute equally contributed to the work.

Correspondence

Mónica H. Vazquez-Levin, Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental (IBYME), National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET), Vuelta de Obligado 2490, Zip Code C1428ADN, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

E-mail: mhvazl@gmail.com

Abstract

Problem

Evaluation of proacrosin/acrosin ability to induce an immune response in male mice after genetic immunization and assessment of animal fertility.

Method of study

Mice received 50 μg per animal of a plasmid containing the human proacrosin cDNA (pSF2-Acro) (control: empty plasmid, pSF2). The humoral response was evaluated by ELISA and immunocytochemistry. In vivo fertility was assessed by mating immunized males with control females. The effect of antibodies upon Ca+2-ionophore-induced acrosomal exocytosis (AE) and in vitro sperm–zona pellucida (ZP) binding was also studied.

Results

pSF2-Acro-immunized mice developed high levels of specific antibodies (< 0.05) that recognized the sperm acrosomal cap. The number of fertile mice was lower (= 0.027) in pSF2-Acro-immunized animals than in controls. Litter size was smaller (< 0.05) in the pSF2-Acro group compared with controls. A negative correlation (< 0.05) between antibody levels and litter size was found. Antiproacrosin/acrosin antibodies inhibited sperm–ZP binding (< 0.0001) and Ca+2-ionophore-induced AE (< 0.05).

Conclusion

DNA immunization against proacrosin elicits an immune response in male mice associated with abnormal sperm functions and reduced fertility.

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