Use of γ-inulin/liposomes/Vitamin E adjuvant combination in contraceptive vaccines

P. Fuentes, P. D. Cooper, R. Barnadas, M. Sabés, C. Osterhoff, P. Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The adjuvanticity of two gamma inulin/liposomes/Vitamin E combinations was evaluated in the mouse, in contraceptive vaccines with sperm protein extracts or a synthetic HE2 peptide ("Human Epididymis gene product"; residues 15-28) as antigen. The HE2 peptide was not conjugated to a protein carrier, to ensure that the antibodies elicited were specific against the HE2 peptide. The adjuvant combinations were designed to increase adjuvanticity, as their components have complementary mechanisms, and their performance was compared to Freund's adjuvant. Antibody production against native sperm structures was determined in sera by ELISA immunoassay and immunohistology. Toxicity of adjuvants was determined by histopathological study and treated mice were monitored for signs of pain or distress. Our results show that the gamma inulin (1-2μm particle size)/liposomes/Vitamin E combination, with sperm protein extracts, is better than Freund's adjuvant because it elicits good antibody titres without any toxicity. When the synthetic HE2 peptide is used as antigen, the gamma inulin (1-2μm particle size)/liposomes/Vitamin E combination is less effective than Freund's adjuvant; nevertheless, the anti-HE2 antibodies elicited are highly specific and recognize native structures in sperm. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2003


  • Contraception
  • Freund's adjuvant
  • Gamma inulin
  • HE2 sperm antigen
  • Liposomes
  • Vitamin E


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