Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Population control just got more feasible. “…This vaccine can potentially also be applied for birth control in other animal species…”
Immunocontraceptive Effects in Male Rats Vaccinated with Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone-I and -II Protein Complex
J. Microbiol. Biotechnol.2019 ; 29(1):
Immunocontraception has been suggested as an optimal alternative to surgical contraception in animal species. Many immunocontraceptive vaccines have been designed to artificially produce antibodies against gonadotropin releasing hormone-I (GnRH-I) which remove GnRH-I from the vaccinated animals. A deficiency of GnRH-I thereafter leads to a lack of gonadotropins, resulting in immunocontraception. In this study, we initially developed three immunocontraceptive vaccines composed of GnRH-I, GnRH-II, and a GnRH-I and –II (GnRH-I+II) complex, conjugated to the external domain of Salmonella Typhimurium flagellin. As the GnRH-I+II vaccine induced significantly (P < 0.01) higher levels of anti-GnRH-I antibodies than the other two vaccines, we further evaluated its immunocontraceptive effects in male rats. Mean testis weight in rats (n = 6) inoculated twice with the GnRH-I+II vaccine at 2-week intervals was significantly (P < 0.01) lower than in negative control rats at 10 weeks of age. Among the six vaccinated rats, two were non-responders whose testes were not significantly reduced when compared to those of negative control rats. Significantly smaller testis weight (P < 0.001), higher anti-GnRH-I antibody levels (P < 0.001), and lower testosterone levels (P < 0.001) were seen in the remaining four responders compared to the negative control rats at the end of the experiments. Furthermore, seminiferous tubule atrophy and spermatogenesis arrest were found in the testis tissues of responders. Therefore, the newly developed GnRH-I+II vaccine efficiently induced immunocontraception in male rats. This vaccine can potentially also be applied for birth control in other animal species.