Antibody response of ewes and does to chimeric sheep-goat pregnancy

N. A. Ruffing, G. B. Anderson, Robert Bondurant, R. L. Pashen, D. Bernoco

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12 Scopus citations


Antibody production was evaluated in 62 recipients of blastomere- aggregation sheep-goat embryos, including 23 multiparous ewes, 21 multiparous does, 16 primiparous does, and 2 virgin does. The reactivity of sera collected weekly after the embryo transfer surgery was compared to that of sera collected prior to the embryo transfer by means of 1) complement- dependent cytotoxicity tests against peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) from the parents of the embryo(s) and from random-bred sheep and goats, 2) hemagglutination and hemolytic assays with red blood cells (RBCs) from the two sires of the embryo(s), and 3) assays with PBLs and RBCs following absorptions with RBCs and PBLs from the parents and offspring. Although cross-reactivity to ovine and caprine PBL antigens was present in the control sera of some recipients, xenogenic immunization during pregnancy was detected in 20 of 30 recipients that experienced term pregnancy. The xenogeneic response involved the production of antibody that reacted with both PBLs and RBCs. Allogeneic responses to RBCs were not observed, but allogeneic responses to PBLs occurred frequently, beginning after the onset of the xenogeneic response in most recipients (98 ± 28 vs. 57 ± 15 days in ewes; 93 ± 23 vs. 46 ± 7 days in does; mean day of onset ± SD). The onsets of the responses were examined in conjunction with data collected on fetal and placental chimerism to evaluate possible routes of immunization. The onsets of the allogeneic responses and the limited serum reactivity to third-party PBLs suggested that fetal lymphocytes leaking across the placenta immunized the recipients to parentally inherited polymorphic antigens. The xenogeneic responses were associated with placental chimerism and appeared to involve the recognition of a species-specific monomorphic antigen shared by PBLs and RBCs. Neither of the responses appeared to affect continuation of pregnancy to term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1269
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 30 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology


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