OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effects on fertility by immunization with anti-idiotypic antibodies to porcine zona pellucida (PZP) antigen. METHOD Anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab(2)) were produced in New Zealand rabbits immunized with 17D3 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) (IgG, Ab(1)) to PZP antigen. The antisera were first passed through immuno-affinity chromatography column linked to normal mouse IgG so as to remove the antibody bound to normal mouse IgG The passing elute was then purified by immuno-affinity chromatography using 17D3 mAbs to get the Ab(2). Female BALB/c mice, 5-week-old, were grouped and immunized with the Ab(2), PZP antigen, target antigen of the Ab(1) and normal rabbit IgG, respectively. The treated female mice were mated with male BALB/c mice and sacrificed at gestation day 10. Analyses included ELISA measurement of anti-ZP antibody titer, fetal number determination and evaluation of ovarian histomorphology. RESULTS The Ab(2) appeared as a single protein band by SDS-PAGE. Shown by a competitive inhibition ELISA, the Ab(2) specifically bound to the variable region of the 17D3 Ab(1). Compared with controls, the female mice immunized with Ab(2) showed a decreased pregnancy rate and a statistically significant reduction in fetal numbers. Histological examination of ovaries demonstrated that Ab(2) exposure interfered less with follicular development than did exposure to PZP. CONCLUSION Immunization of female mice with Ab(2) to PZP mAbs suppresses fertility and fetal numbers with minimal ovarian pathology.