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E. SCHILLING and W. HOLM

During the past few years substantial progress has been made in the induction of multiple ovulation in cattle by hormone treatment. The practical results, however, have been unsatisfactory. Hitherto, only about 30% of treated cows ovulated the limited number of eggs (two or three) likely to lead to the birth of twins or triplets. In many cases only one egg could be obtained or the animals failed to ovulate; in others, four or more eggs were ovulated, and normal embryonic development did not ensue. The following investigations deal with the problem of inducing twin pregnancies by the ovulation of only two or three eggs. Forty-seven cows of the Max Planck Institute were treated with different sex hormones. All cows had been shown to be fertile in tests extending over the previous two or three years. They were kept under the same environmental conditions and fed individually. During the trial,
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W. JÖCHLE and E. SCHILLING

This paper records observations made on conception in sows treated with a long-acting androgen-oestrogen mixture. The observations were made as part of an experiment originally undertaken to examine the value of treatment with this agent for the diagnosis of pregnancy in pigs. It has previously been observed that administration of a similar mixture was followed by heat in cattle previously showing ovulation in the absence of heat. By the same treatment an ovulatory heat was induced in anoestrous, barren animals, but existing pregnancies were not disturbed (Jöchle, 1964). It seemed probable that the existence of pregnancy would be established if heat failed to occur following administration of the agent. Two milligrammes oestradiol valerate and 5 mg testosterone enanthate were administered to sows 9 to 12 days following service. The experimental group comprised ninety-eight German Landrace
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E. SCHILLING and J. ZUST

During the oestrus of the sow it has been demonstrated that the pH intra vaginam decreases rapidly into the acid range (Schilling & Röstel, 1964). The minimal pH of 6·35 coincided with full oestrus and the time of mating. These findings have now been obtained in cows (Zust, 1966; Schilling & Zust, 1967). The most important results of these investigations are briefly dealt with in the following text.

In cows, the pH was measured intra vaginam using a pocket-type pH meter. An extra long electrode was moistened with distilled water immediately before the measurement was made. A Polanski speculum was used to locate exactly the measurement points within the vagina. In accordance with Täubrich (1959) a close relationship was found between these points and the pH: the lowest values

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A. A. El-Banna, B. Sacher and E. Schilling

Summary.

Treatment of rabbits with indomethacin (10 mg/kg/day) 48 hr before mating, and with 20 mg/kg at 12 hr followed by 8 mg/kg at 48, 72 or 96 hr after mating did not affect the rate of egg transport through the oviduct. Indomethacin treatment at the time of implantation interfered with pregnancy and caused degeneration and resorption of embryos. These results suggest that inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis does not directly affect egg transport, but that prostaglandin appears to be required for the retention of implanted embryos.

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E. Hinsch, W. Hägele, R-M. Bohle, W-B. Schill and K-D. Hinsch

The mouse zona pellucida protein ZP2 plays an important role in the process of fertilization by mediating secondary sperm binding to mammalian oocytes. ZP2 primary structures are highly conserved as revealed by cDNA cloning. The aim of the study was to identify ZP2 domains of functional relevance. Antisera were raised against synthetic peptides that are either conserved in the structure of ZP2 from different mammalian species (AS ZP2–20) or present in the human ZP2 but not in the mouse ZP2 amino acid sequence (AS ZP2–26). Antibody binding to zona pellucida proteins was assessed by assaying the antisera with human hemizonae. Using human zonae pellucidae, we demonstrated that anti-ZP2 common antibodies and anti-ZP2 human peptide antibodies react with human zona pellucida antigens. For the first time, ZP2 domains of functional relevance for human sperm–oocyte interaction could be identified applying the competitive hemizona assay. Antiserum AS ZP2–20 significantly inhibited binding of spermatozoa to test hemizonae, whereas treatment of hemizonae with AS ZP2–26 did not influence sperm–oocyte interaction. These results show that antibodies against synthetic ZP2 peptides react with ZP2 protein and that AS ZP2–20 identifies a linear ZP2 epitope that is of possible functional importance for sperm–oocyte interaction.