Immunohistological Studies During Immunization of Primates with Porcine Zona Pellucida: Preliminary Observations
Oocytes of nearly all mammals are surrounded by a highly complex structure composed of glycoproteins, referred to as zona pellucida (ZP). It not only preserves the integrity of the oocytes but also plays a pivotal role in sperm-egg interaction and prevention of polyspermy (Wood et al., 1981; Ownby and Shivers, 1972; Gwatkin et al., 1977; Yanagimachi, 1977). Since sperm must adhere to and penetrate the ZP, interruption of this binding or penetration is possible using anti-ZP antibodies. Attempts have therefore been made to exploit immunization with ZP antigens as a possible mode of immuno-contraception. Earlier studies by Sacco et al. (1981), Dunbar et al. (1984), and Wood et al. (1981) have highlighted the effects of allo-immunization and hetero-immunization on fertility in rabbits and rodents. In these studies, high-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was used to demonstrate that the porcine ZP consists of 3 major families of glycoproteins. These proteins exhibit both charge as well as molecular weight heterogeneity due to extensive post-translational modification. More recently, studies by Skinner et al. ( 1984) have indicated that immunization with ZP proteins of porcine origin leads to serious impairment of follicular maturation in the rabbit ovary. In the present study, porcine ZP antigens have been used to immunize rhesus monkeys to assess the cross-reactivity of porcine ZP proteins with the primate ZP proteins and to determine the type of ZP antibodies generated during the course of such immunization.
KeywordsZona Pellucida Follicular Maturation Primate Ovary Porcine Origin Zona Pellucida Protein
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