Reproductive Immunology is a compilation of research articles presented during the VII International Congress of Reproductive Immunology which was held in New Delhi, India on 27-30 October 1998. The articles pertain to the following six major themes:
- Molecular and Immunological Aspects of Sperm-Egg Interaction
- Embryonic-Endometrial Cross-Talk
- Immunobiology of Pregnancy
- Autoantibodies and Infertility
- Mucosal Immunology and Reproductive Tract Infections
The first section deals with our current understanding of various steps involved in fertilization. The functional significance of sperm surface mannosidase and glutathione S-transferases to bind zona pellucida is described. The role of zona pellucida glycoproteins in the binding of sperm, induction of acrosome reactions and avoidance of polyspermy is discussed. In the second section, the role of various cytokines, growth factors and immunomodulatory agents in implantation of embryos is described. In the field of reproductive immunology, one of the major issues is to explore the successful gestation of the histoincompatible fetus in the uterus of an immunologically competent mother. The Proceedings presents the issues of paternal antigens at the feto-maternal interface and shows that Th2-type of immunity is involved in normal successful conception. The role of membrane-bound and soluble HLA-G in protecting the fetus from the lytic activities of maternal uterine and peripheral blood natural killer (NK) cells is also presented.
Nature's experiments suggest that antibodies against sperm-specific antigens are responsible for infertility in some women. The possibility that an immunogenetic background contributes to production of sperm-immobilizing antibodies in infertile women is discussed in the section on autoantibodies and infertility. The Proceedings presents the issue of Th1-type cytokines in inducing recurrent spontaneous abortions of unexplained etiology. The roles of β2-glycoprotein 1 (β2-GP1)-dependent anticardiolipin antibody, lupus anticoagulant, antiphospholipids, anti-thyroid antibody and anti-nuclear antibody in miscarriages are also described.
The rising global human population, particularly in the developing countries, has driven the need for new and safer methods of contraception. Fertility regulation by vaccines is thus an interesting proposition. The section on contraceptive vaccines discusses the latest advances in this area and describes the current status of vaccines based on βhCG, sperm antigens, zona pellucida glycoproteins, and riboflavin carrier proteins.
The issues of mucosal immunity and strategies for enhancing local genital immune responses to combat HIV infection is discussed. The role of inflammatory and related cytokines in chorioamnionitis is described.
The contents of this Proceedings describes various facets of reproductive immunology which will help us to design strategies to combat genital infections and miscarriages caused by immunological etiology. Descriptions of the molecular basis of gamete recognition, implantation and survival of the allogenic fetus will help in designing strategies for overcoming infertility and also new contraceptive approaches. The Proceedings will be useful to researchers and clinicians involved in basic or applied research in the disciplines of reproductive biology, reproductive immunology, and obstetrics and gynecology.
Molecular and Immunological Aspects of Sperm-Oocyte Interaction.- 1. Functional Significance of Sperm Surface Mannosidase in Mammalian Fertilization.- 2. Biological Role of Glutathione S-Transferases on Sperm.- 3. Cloning and Sequencing of Sperm Antigens Involved in Oocyte Interaction: Clinical applications in infertility and immunocontraception.- 4. Molecular Characterization of Non-Human Primate Zona Pellucida Glycoproteins.- 5. Expression of CD4/p56lck Complex on Murine Egg Vitelline Membrane and Its Role in Fertilization.- Embryonic-Endometrial Cross-Talk.- 6. Localisation of the Th2 Cytokines IL-3, IL-4, IL-10 at the Murine Feto Maternal Interface During Pregnancy.- 7. The Nature and Possible Functions of MHC Antigens on the Surface of Human Trophoblast.- 8. Cytokine Network in the Human Decidua.- 9. Seminal ‘Priming’ for Successful Mammalian Pregnancy.- 10. Immunomodulators in Human Trophoblast-Uterus Cross Talk: Cytokines, growth factors and nitric oxide.- 11. Regulation of Development of Peri-Attachment Embryos: Comparative studies in rodents.- Immunobiology of Pregnancy.- 12. From Trophoblast Antigens and Cells to Cytokines: Visions and realities.- 13. Snake’s Eyeview of Adam and Eve.- 14. Th1 and Th2 Cytokine Profiles in Successful Pregnancy and Unexplained Recurrent Abortions.- 15. Immunobiologic Markers of Successful and Nonsuccessful Pregnancies.- 16. The Potential Role of Endoglin During Pregnancy.- 17. Control of Maternal Immunity to Trophoblast.- 18. Regulation of Endocrine Function in Human Placenta—Is it similar to hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis?.- 19. Immunomodulation in Normal Pregnancy and Pre-Eclampsia.- 20. Matemal Alloimmune Stimulation: Variable actions.- 21. Nonspecific Immunological Mechanisms and Hormones.- 22. What Could Lead to Selective Expression of HLA-G?.- 23. Functional Roles of HLA-G in the Human Placenta: Facts and fancies.- Autoantibodies and Infertility.- 24. Pathogenetical and Clinical Aspects of Antisperm Immunity.- 25. Differences in Antisperm Humoral Responses in Pre-Pubertal Boys with Gonadal Failure and in SCID Mice.- 26. Autoantibodies and Recurrent Reproductive Wastages.- 27. HLA-DQ, DR Alleles of Infertile Patients Susceptible to Anti-Sperm Antibody.- 28. Clinical Significance of?2 Glycoprotein I Dependent Anticardiolipin Antibody, Lupus Anticoagulant and Antinuclear Antibodies in Patients with Recurrent Miscarriages.- Immunocontraception.- 29. Immuno-Contraception: Revisited.- 30. Immunoglobulin Entry into the Male Reproductive Tract: Implications for immunocontraception and vaccine development.- 31. Antibody Responses to a Synthetic pZP4 Peptide Recognized by a Fertilization-Blocking Monoclonal Antibody.- 32. Zona Pellucida Chimeric Peptide Vaccine.- 33. LDH-C4 as a Contraceptive Vaccine.- 34. Antibody Directed to a 26 kDa Epididymal Sperm Protein Inhibits Sperm Maturation, Function and Fertility Significantly in Mouse.- 35. Immunocontraceptive Potential of Riboflavin Carrier Protein (RCP) in Male and Female Mammals.- 36. Is FSH Based Contraceptive Vaccine a Feasible Proposition for the Human Male?.- 37. Prospects of Developing Human Seminal Plasma Inhibin as a Male Immunocontraceptive.- Mucosal Immunology and Reproductive Tract Infection.- 38. Human Uterine Epithelial Cells: Influence of culture conditions and stromal cells on epithelial cell transepithelial cell resistance.- 39. Genital Tract Immunity Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1).- 40. Immunological Aspects of Chorioamnionitis.- Author Index.- Subject Indexp.