Two types of rabbit early pregnancy factor (EPF) components, prepared from the in-vitro perfused ovary and oviduct and from serum ammonium sulphate fractions, were investigated to elucidate the source of EPF production. The state of the animals, i.e. pregnant, pseudopregnant, unstimulated or platelet activating factor (PAF)-treated, and order of addition of the components to the assay lymphocytes were varied to characterize conditions of production and expression of EPF activity. Although each component alone had no EPF activity, combination of two components, i.e. ovary and oviduct components, or serum precipitate and supernatant components, expressed EPF activity. The oviduct and serum supernatant components were produced in pregnancy and pseudopregnancy but the ovary and serum precipitate components were produced only in pregnancy. The similarity of the production pattern and ability of the perfusate and serum components to yield EPF activity when combined suggests that they are similar or the same. The sources of stimulation of EPF production did not appear to affect component production because the activity produced by the perfused ovary and oviduct in pregnancy or in response to PAF stimulation appeared similar. Oviduct and supernatant components apparently bound directly to lymphocytes. These results suggest that EPF components are produced in the ovary and oviduct individually and that the combination of the two components expresses EPF activity in the rabbit.
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