Pharmacological and toxicological assessment of a potential GnRH vaccine in young-adult male pigs

J.A. Turkstra, F.J. van der Staay, N. Stockhofe-Zurwieden, H. Woelders, R.H. Meloen, T. Schuurman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Active immunization against gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is successfully applied to prevent boar taint in pork. In men, GnRH immunization could be an alternative to hormone therapy in patients with prostate cancer. In this study, a new GnRH vaccine formulation (a modified GnRH peptide conjugate formulated with CoVaccine adjuvant) was investigated for its pharmacological efficacy and safety in young-adult male pigs. Immunization resulted in castrate-like plasma testosterone levels in all treated pigs from week 8 until the end of the study, 30 weeks after the first immunization. Testosterone depletion retarded testes growth, reduced the relative weight of the testes and accessory sex organs, and reduced sperm counts and motility. There was no clinically relevant toxicity. Typical vaccination-related adverse reactions, such as swelling at the injection site and fever, were considered acceptable. We conclude that this GnRH vaccine efficiently and rapidly reduced serum testosterone levels, without inducing chronic toxic effects, and therefore could be applicable in both veterinary and human medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3791-3801
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • gonadotropin-releasing-hormone
  • follicle-stimulating-hormone
  • advanced prostate-cancer
  • white-tailed deer
  • active immunization
  • testicular function
  • boar taint
  • efficient immunocastration
  • fsh-secretion
  • male rats

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