Contraceptive effect of sperm-agglutinating monoclonal antibodies in rabbits

Philip E. Castle, Kevin J. Whaley, Timothy E. Hoen, Thomas R. Moench, Richard A. Cone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Immune infertility in humans correlates clinically with the presence of anti-sperm antibodies that trap (agglutinate) sperm in semen and cervical mucus. To test whether sperm-agglutinating antibodies can be effective contraceptive agents, several mouse anti-rabbit sperm (MARS) sperm- agglutinating monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed that rapidly and completely agglutinate sperm: MARS-M3 (IgM), MARS-G16 (IgG3), and MARS-G17 (IgG3). Contraceptive efficacy of these mAbs was tested by mixing the mAb with 0.1 ml semen (~1/5 of a whole ejaculate) immediately before artificially inseminating rabbits paracervically. This paracervical dose of semen provided a rigorous test since it delivered several thousand times more fertilizing doses than does a human ejaculate. All of the mAbs were contraceptively effective, and MARS-G16 reduced the number of fetuses per animal by 88% and 95% with doses of 150 μg and 2 mg, respectively. The contraceptive efficacy of the MARS mAbs in the rabbit suggests that human sperm-agglutinating mAbs may be effective agents for vaginal contraception in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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