00369-A: Analysis of the Ultrastructure of the Canine Zona Pellucida

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $10,701.66
Dr. Shirley J. Wright, PhD, University of Dayton
July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2007
Sponsor(s): Alaskan Malamute Club of America, Inc., American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc., American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc., American Miniature Schnauzer Club, Inc., American Spaniel Club Foundation, Australian Terrier Club of America, Borzoi Club of America, Collie Health Foundation, French Bulldog Rescue League, Golden Retriever Foundation, Health & Rescue Foundation of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America, Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc., Keeshond Club of America, Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Pekingese Charitable Foundation, Plum Creek Kennel Club of Colorado, Rottweiler Health Foundation, Samoyed Club of America Education & Research Foundation, Westie Foundation of America, Inc.
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Treatment

Abstract

Our objective is to assess the ultrastructure and molecular composition of the canine zona pellucida (ZP), and examine canine sperm interactions with the ZP. The ZP is the extracellular matrix that surrounds both immature and ovulated oocytes. Sperm must bind to and interact with the ZP for successful fertilization. In other mammals, the ZP is a promising contraceptive target. While contraceptive antibodies targeted against ZP proteins have been developed, they also induce a T cell response in mice that can lead to autoimmune ovarian disease. Clearly there is need for better contraceptive methods. Because of many differences in canine reproductive physiology compared to other mammals, it has not been possible to directly extrapolate reproductive information from other species and apply it directly to dogs. The need for canine-specific, basic research is critical before new applied contraceptive methods can be achieved. The ultimate goal of our research is to create a safe, effective long-acting contraceptive that is reversible, inexpensive, and feasible to administer with little or no side effect.

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