Immunochemical studies of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), eCG alpha, and eCG beta
Roser, Janet F.
Bousfield, George R.
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L Couture, J P Lemonnier, F Troalen, J F Roser, G R Bousfield, D Bellet, J M Bidart; Immunochemical studies of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), eCG alpha, and eCG beta. Endocrinology 1993 132: 205-11; doi: 10.1210/en.132.1.205
The equine (e) placental glycoprotein hormone eCG plays a critical though not completely understood role during the first trimester of gestation in mares. In the present work, we have developed immunoradiometric assays (m-IRMAs) for detection of eCG, eCG alpha, and eCG beta using combinations of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for epitopes that reside on free and/or combined subunits. The free eCG alpha m-IRMA was based on AHT20 mAb, specific for the free alpha-subunit of all species, and 125I-labeled ECG01 mAb, which recognizes both free and combined alpha-subunit from equine and primate species. The free eCG beta was measured by the combination of FBT11 mAb, which binds to free beta-subunit from human and equine species, and radiolabeled 518B7 mAb, which detects CG/LH from diverse mammalian species. This assay provided a better sensitivity for eLH beta than for eCG beta. However, after treatment with neuraminidase, the latter molecule was recognized as well as eLH beta, indicating that the carbohydrate structure influenced the binding of mAbs. Detection of eCG was based on the combination of ECG01 mAb (anti-alpha) as capture antibody and 125I-labeled 518B7 mAb (anti-beta). Using such assays, we measured plasma and urinary concentrations of both eCG and free subunits in pregnant mares from mating to day 90 of gestation. eCG was constantly detectable in the serum between days 40-90, as previously reported, but small amounts of the dimeric hormone in the urine were also detectable. Further, m-IRMA specific for the free beta-subunit showed that low levels (5-100 ng/ml) of eCG beta may coexist with eCG in serum and urine during early pregnancy in mares. In contrast, free eCG alpha subunit was undetectable during the first 10 weeks of gestation. These results suggested that eCG and free subunit production in pregnant mares at the beginning of gestation is similar to that observed in pregnant women. These immunoassays, specific for either intact hormone or its free subunits, constitute useful diagnostic tools for investigating reproductive problems in mares.
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