PROBLEM: To verify the proposed relationship between recurrent spontaneous abortions and the presence of maternal antisperm antibodies (ASA) in women as detected by a sensitive and reliable method.
METHOD OF STUDY: The presence of maternal antipaternal immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies were determined against three different paternal antigens comprising T, B lymphocytes and semen cells by a sensitive flow cytometric crossmatch method to examine their possible correlation with pregnancy outcome.
Group 1 consisted of sera obtained from 24 women with a history of abortion, and lymphocytes and semen samples collected from their husbands at the same time of visiting the in vitro fertilization (IVF) Clinic at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. Sera, lymphocytes and semen samples were also collected from six couples with no history of abortion who served as controls (Group 2).
RESULTS: Using a sensitive flow cytometric assay to analyse the samples, without knowledge of clinical status, elevated levels of both IgG and IgM were detected in Group 1. However, no significant association was found when compared with normal females who had healthy pregnancies.
CONCLUSION: Flow cytometry is a highly sensitive and specific tool for the detection of alloantibodies in human sera from patients with rejected transplanted organs. Our findings suggest that maternal antipaternal antibodies with respect to IgG and IgM classes do not play a major role in women with a history of recurrent abortions, despite the presence of increased levels of antibodies against three different sources of paternal antigens.