Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune therapy can control fertility in mammals: Technique could prevent pregnancy in pets, human use is also envisioned

Date:
April 1, 2011
Source:
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Summary:
Researchers have shown that it is possible to immunize mammals to control fertility. They say their technique could possibly be used on other mammals -- including humans -- because fertility hormones and their receptors are species-non-specific and are similar in both females and males. For pets, the technique could be an alternative to castration and adverse effects of hormone administration.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have shown that it is possible to immunize mammals to control fertility. They say their technique could possibly be used on other mammals -- including humans -- because fertility hormones and their receptors are species-non-specific and are similar in both females and males. For pets, the technique could be an alternative to castration and adverse effects of hormone administration.

In the Feb. 24 online issue of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Journal, the researchers say their newly synthesized novel chimeric genes produce bi-functional recombinant proteins that are antigenic. The antibodies can tamp down production of progesterone in females and testosterone in males. The most immediate use of this technique might be to control fertility in dogs and cats or other mammals in need of population control, says the study's lead investigator, Dr. Brij B. Saxena, the Harold and Percy Uris Professor of Reproductive Biology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

After extensive preclinical testing for the efficacy, safety and reversibility in animals, the immune therapy might be possible in humans as a treatment for androgen excess syndromes as well as an immunological method to control fertility, adds Dr. Saxena.

The new chimeric gene was engineered by Dr. Saxena and his Weill Cornell colleagues, Dr. Meirong Hao and Dr. Premila Rathnam, and then inserted into insect cells to produce recombinant bi-functional protein. Immunity against fertility can be provided by the production of a bi-functional antibody by active or passive immunization using the recombinant protein.

This new gene contains DNA sequences from two natural genes that are integral to fertility in mammals. One portion is the extracellular domain (ECD) of the ligand (hormone) binding region of the human lutropin/human chorionic gonadotropin receptor (ECD-hLH-R), which is present in the ovaries and testes. The other component is the unique C-terminal peptide of the human chorionic gonadotropin β-subunit (hCG β-CTP).

Key to development of this new chimeric gene and recombinant protein is the researchers' finding that the hLH-R and hCG-β-CTP recombinant proteins are antigenic -- meaning that they can produce an immune response in the body, and produce bifunctional antibodies with dual effect. The antibodies are able to block the hormone binding to the receptor and thus suppress the signal to produce ovarian hormones, specifically progesterone. The second component of the antibody specific to hCG β-CTP would neutralize the hCG-like material produced by the fertilized egg prior to or at the time of implantation. This would lead to lack of stimulation to promote progesterone production by the corpus luteum, resulting in the lack of proliferation of endometrial growth that is vital for the implantation of the fertilized egg -- thus preventing pregnancy.

The scientists are now working on methods to upscale the production of recombinant chimeric protein to be tested as antigens in dogs and cats.

The study was funded by Concept-II, New York, NY.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Meirong Hao, P Rathnam, Brij B Saxena. Expression of Recombinant Proteins from Chimeric Genes, Engineered to Contain Epitopes of the Extracellular Ligand Binding Region of the Human Lutropin Receptor and Carboxy Terminal Region of hCG-β-CTP. Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Journal,, February 24, 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. "Immune therapy can control fertility in mammals: Technique could prevent pregnancy in pets, human use is also envisioned." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331131134.htm>.
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. (2011, April 1). Immune therapy can control fertility in mammals: Technique could prevent pregnancy in pets, human use is also envisioned. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331131134.htm
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. "Immune therapy can control fertility in mammals: Technique could prevent pregnancy in pets, human use is also envisioned." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331131134.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins