• Sperm velocity;
  • motility;
  • linearity;
  • motility index;
  • immunity to sperm

ABSTRACT: Semen samples from 55 fertile nonautoimmune and 44 infertile sperm autoimmune men were evaluated by computerized sperm cell motion analysis. Sperm counts (mean ± SEM, 59.6 ± 10.3 ± 106 per ml), motility (39.0 + 4.6%), mean swimming speed (μm/sec, 26.5 ± 0.9), mean linearity (straight line distance of the cell track divided by the actual track length and multiplied by 10, 6.5 + 0.2), and motility index (% motility ± mean speed, 10.7 ± 1.4) in 23 men with significant titers of cytotoxic sperm antibodies in their serum and seminal plasma were less (p<0.0001) than those in the fertile controls. However, these parameters were comparable in 18 men with sperm antibodies in their seminal plasma but not in their serum, and the control group. Infertile men with serum cytotoxic sperm antibodies had more sperm cells swimming at 11–30 μm/sec, and fewer moving at 31 μm or higher; this was in contrast to results obtained from fertile men (p < 0.05). The percentages of sperm cells moving at 21–30 μm/sec were increased, while those moving at 51–60 μm/sec were decreased in men with seminal plasma sperm antibodies, versus controls. Spermatozoa with low linearities (≤6) were higher (p<0.05) in men with serum and seminal plasma cytotoxic sperm antibodies than in the fertile group. The numbers of sperm cells moving at a linearity of ten, on the other hand, were lower in the infertile men with sperm antibodies in the serum and seminal plasma (21.8 ± 2.7 versus 36.4 ± 1.3; p< 0.00001) or seminal plasma only (28.0 ± 1.5; p< 0.0001). We suggest that the spermatozoa of men with cytotoxic sperm antibodies in their serum and seminal plasma have poorer sperm motion characteristics than those of fertile men.