Reversible immunocontraception in male monkeys immunized with eppin

Science. 2004 Nov 12;306(5699):1189-90. doi: 10.1126/science.1099743.


Various forms of birth control have been developed for women; however, there are currently few options for men. The development of male contraceptives that are effective, safe, and reversible is desired for family planning throughout the world. We now report contraception of male nonhuman primates (Macaca radiata) immunized with Eppin, a testis/epididymis-specific protein. Seven out of nine males (78%) developed high titers to Eppin, and all of these high-titer monkeys were infertile. Five out of seven (71%) high-anti-Eppin titer males recovered fertility when immunization was stopped. This study demonstrates that effective and reversible male immunocontraception is an attainable goal. This method of immunocontraception may be extended to humans.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Contraception, Immunologic*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Freund's Adjuvant
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Macaca radiata
  • Male
  • Proteinase Inhibitory Proteins, Secretory
  • Proteins / immunology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Semen / immunology
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, Contraceptive*


  • Antibodies
  • Eppin protein, human
  • Proteinase Inhibitory Proteins, Secretory
  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vaccines, Contraceptive
  • Freund's Adjuvant