Immune response to lytic peptides conjugated to a βCG fragment in treated BALB/C mice

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Hecate-βCG and Phor14-βCG(ala) are relatively short, amphipathic alpha-helical cationic peptides with the ability to destroy selectively breast, prostate and ovarian cancer cells. Treatment with proteins and peptides frequently initiated antibody formation. Short peptides may minimize the risk of the immune system mobilization after treatment but it is necessary to investigate whether Hecate-βCG and Phor14-βCG(ala) induce the immune system to produce antibody and whether they affect the reproductive organs in normal wild-type mice. The results of our experiments showed that specific antibodies, tested by the enzyme-immunoassay, were not detected in the group treated with Hecate-βCG and Phor14-βCG(ala). The blood concentrations of both peptides begun to decrease from 60 minutes after injection and after 240 minutes its levels were undetectable. Histopathological examination exhibited degenerative changes in the prostate glands and testes in males and in the ovaries and uteri of females treated with both peptides. In conclusion, our results indicate that both relatively small and rapidly metabolized peptides are not immunogenic and can be used for further investigation as a potential cancer treatment. Copyright © 2008 by the Society for Biology of Reproduction.

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Reproductive Biology

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