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A. C. MENGE

Summary.

Isoimmunization of heifers by a single injection of semen and complete Freund's adjuvant up to 21 days after insemination resulted in a high incidence of early embryo loss. The heifers had a pregnancy rate of 11·8% and an incidence of delayed returns to oestrus of 41·3%. Only one of ten heifers immunized with semen had a fertilized ovum at slaughter after the second to fifth insemination. Pregnancy occurred in eight of ten control heifers immunized with seminal plasma after insemination.

Heifers immunized with homologous conceptus material and adjuvant by repeated intra-uterine and intradermal injections required an average of 3·8 inseminations per pregnancy. The infertility was apparently due to early embryo death. Isoimmunization with seminal plasma and immature testis, and the treatment of semen with antisera to conceptus and immature testis, had no effect on fertility in heifers.

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A. C. MENGE

Summary.

Iso-immunization of heifers with bull semen and homogenized testis combined with Freund's complete adjuvant resulted in an induced temporary infertility. Eleven heifers injected intradermally with semen and six heifers with testis required an average of 4·11 and 4·83 inseminations/conception, respectively, compared with nine control heifers which averaged 1·11 services/conception. Two heifers immunized with semen were slaughtered after eight and twelve unsuccessful inseminations, and an unfertilized ovum was recovered from each animal. Intra-uterine injection of semen and adjuvant caused nine heifers to require an average of 2·67 services/conception compared with an average of 1·0 for four control animals that had received intra-uterine injections of adjuvant and saline or adjuvant and rabbit semen. Four diagnosed pregnancies of the iso-immunized heifers underwent degeneration and an additional seven incidences of embryo loss were suspected from delays in return to oestrus after breeding. There was no evidence of embryo mortality in the control animals.

Specific sperm agglutinins were detected in the serum and uterine and vaginal secretions of the iso-immunized heifers. The fertility of a particular insemination appears to have been negatively associated with the serum titre of sperm agglutinins at the time.

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A. C. MENGE and W. P. PROTZMAN

Summary.

Cattle and guinea-pig antisera against rabbit testis, epididymal spermatozoa and ejaculated semen had high titres of sperm agglutinins and prevented fertilization of ova in rabbits bred with semen treated with these sera. Although cattle antisera produced against seminal plasma from vasectomized rabbits, 9-day-old-rabbit conceptuses and rabbit brain and guinea-pig antiserum to seminal plasma containing epididymal secretions exhibited relatively high titres of sperm agglutinins, none of these sera prevented spermatozoa from fertilizing ova. The antifertility antibodies were removed or inactivated in antisera by absorptions with testis material, epididymal spermatozoa and semen supernatant but not by absorption with either type of seminal plasma.

Agar-gel diffusion and immuno-electrophoretic techniques revealed that ejaculated rabbit semen contained at least nine antigens. Seven were common to seminal plasma, two to blood serum and two appeared to be spermatozoa-specific originating in the testis. Antisera to the conceptus material reacted with four to six different antigens in semen of which at least one was not common to the antigens in blood serum.

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A. C. MENGE, W. J. TYLER and L. E. CASIDA

Summary.

Rabbit and bull spermatozoa were observed undergoing phagocytosis by polymorphonuclear leucocytes after being injected into ligated uteri of oestrous and luteal phase rabbits. An interaction between the species of spermatozoa injected and the reproductive phase of the rabbit occurred in the number of recovered spermatozoa.

Killing the bull spermatozoa prior to injection decreased the recovery rate significantly while killing the rabbit spermatozoa had no significant effect.

Treating either bull or rabbit spermatozoa with uterine exudates induced by bull spermatozoa decreased significantly the recovery rates from oestrous rabbits as compared to treatment with saline solution or exudates induced by rabbit spermatozoa.

In leucopenic rabbits, differences in recovery rates due to species of spermatozoa injected and reproductive phase of the rabbit were not evident. Approximately 75 to 80% of the spermatozoa injected were recovered compared to less than 20% for the controls.

In none of the experiments did the number of recovered leucocytes vary with the different treatments, except after the induction of leucopenia.

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A. C. MENGE, C. A. KIDDY, W. H. STONE and L. E. CASIDA

Summary.

Rabbit embryos were treated at 1 or at 9 days of age with cattle immune sera produced against rabbit semen and rabbit erythrocytes. Immune sera against semen did not produce a consistent effect on the survival rates of 1-day-old embryos, but did produce a significant increase in death rate among embryos that were treated at 9 days of age. No significant differences were observed in the survival rates of embryos treated at either stage of development with normal sera and immune sera produced against rabbit erythrocytes.

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A. C. MENGE, W. H. STONE, W. J. TYLER and L. E. CASIDA

Summary.

Immune sera produced against bull semen in cattle and against washed bull spermatozoa in rabbits caused an antifertility effect (fertilization failure or possibly early embryonic death), when used to treat the bull semen prior to insemination of heifers. Fertilization was prevented in rabbits inseminated with semen treated with cattle antirabbit semen serum. Normal fertility occurred in both species when the semen was treated with normal sera. Fertilization was prevented in rabbits inseminated with semen treated with the gamma-globulin fraction of the immune serum, but not with the gamma-globulin fraction of the normal serum.

Absorption of the rabbit anti-bull-sperm sera and the cattle antirabbit-semen sera with the erythrocytes of bulls and male rabbits, respectively, failed to remove the sperm agglutinins or the antifertility effect of these antisera. Absorption of these sera with the appropriate washed spermatozoa removed the agglutinins and the antifertility effect. Antisera to erythrocytes did not possess either sperm agglutinins or the antifertility effect when used to treat bull or rabbit semen. Similarly, antisera to semen or washed spermatozoa had little or no specific agglutinins against erythrocytes. These results indicate that antibodies against semen or washed spermatozoa can prevent fertilization, or may cause embryonic death. Further, they indicate the absence of cross-reactivity between the antigens of either seminal plasma or spermatozoa and erythrocytes.