Potential Antifertility Vaccines Using Antigens of hCG

  • V. C. Stevens
Conference paper


Despite the knowledge of the existence of human chorionic gonadotrophs (hCG) for nearly 50 years, the functions of this hormone during pregnancy are still incompletely understood. The hormone has been detected in the maternal circulation as early as 8 days following conception and recently, indirect evidence has been provided to suggest that trophoblast cells of the preimplanted blastocyst synthesize hCG. Endocrinologists have believed for many years that the principal role of hCG in early pregnancy is to “rescue” the corpus luteum from its normal regression following ovulation and to stimulate this structure to secrete ovarian steroids for uterine maintenance until placental steroidogenesis is initiated. Also, many immunologists have suggested various roles for hCG in preventing rejection of the conceptus existing normally in the maternal environment as a foreign allograft. At this time, the precise role of the hormone during normal gestation has not been defined.


Corpus Luteum Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin Tetanus Toxoid Fertility Regulation High Antibody Level 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1979

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  • V. C. Stevens

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