The notion of a contraceptive vaccine based on gamete-specific surface antigens was first proposed over a decade ago, as the result of in-vitro and in-vivo studies, and in recent years has been the subject of intensive research. In particular, the zona pellucida has attracted much attention as a potential target for immunological intervention in the fertilization process. Such is the rapidly-expanding nature of research into the biochemical and biological characterization of this structure, that a review of the implications for the development of a contraceptive vaccine seems timely.
- Zona pellucida
- Contraceptive vaccine