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    [Immunocontraception -- current research status] Immunkontrazeption -- jetziger Stand der Forschung.

    von Ditfurth M; Pelzer V

    GYNAKOLOGE. 1990 Jun; 23(3):178-83.

    In 1972, WHO advanced the idea of a safe and reversible birth control vaccine lasting 1-2 years. This contraceptive could utilize the connection of sperm antibodies and sterility by active immunization (foreign antigens) and passive immunization (monoclonal antibodies). After long experimentation, a vaccine was introduced in 1984 based on the carboxyl-terminal peptide (CTP) of the beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotropic (HCG) couples with a diphtheria toxoid (DT) and mixed with a muranyldipeptide (MDP) adjuvant called 109-145-CPT-beta- HCG:DT mixed with MDP. When given to baboons, the pregnancy rate fell to 4.6% vs. the 70% rate in untreated animals. Out of 15 women with previous tubal ligations, 14 showed production of specific antibodies: in Group A, 80 ug beta-HCG antigen was injected 4 times 2 weeks apart, while Group B received 240 ug only twice, 1 month apart. Side effects included edema, adnexal pain, DNA-antibody increase, plasmacortisone fluctuations, and liver enzyme changes. Later refinements eliminated blood chemistry changes, and injection 4 times produced specific antibody formation after 500 days. Immunization against follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) produced reversible sterility in rhesus monkeys after 4 and 1/2 years; however, the controversial role of testosterone in spermatogenesis terminated this approach. The inactivation of LDH-C4-lactatedehydrogenase produced only reduction of fertility in rabbits and baboons. However, 25 guinea pigs immunized twice, 1 month apart, with PH 20, a sperm-coating antigen, exhibited 100% infertility compared to the fact that 94% of untreated controls had a litter. Zona-pellucida antigens affected not only the egg cells but also the ovarian follicles. Among embryonal antigens, F-9-oncofetal antigens reduced fertility in mice but produced teratocarcinoma. Passive immunization by mono- and polyclonal antibodies against early- pregnancy factor terminated pregnancy in mice, suggesting another possible avenue for immunocontraception.
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