• IUD;
  • lymphocyte;
  • macrophage;
  • monoclonal antibodies;
  • ANAE;

ABSTRACT: Eighteen copper intrauterine devices (IUDs), removed after 25 months of use, were examined to evaluate cells adhering to them (IAC). By means of monoclonal antibodies, the antigenic phenotype of IAC was studied, along with some IAC cytochemical properties. Sixty percent of IAC were identified as granulocytes based on morphological, cytochemical, and antigenic characteristics. A small proportion of IAC were shaped like large foreign-body macrophages, with multiple picnotic nuclei, and diffused alpha naphtyl acetate esterase (ANAE) activity. Some IAC identified as macrophages from a morphological view point also showed dipeptidil-diaminopeptidase IV (DAPIV) reactivity, previously described only in T-helper lymphocytes. Most IAC identified as macrophages reacted with the monoclonal antibodies OKM1 and HLA-DR, and showed ANAE activity in the form of small multiple granules.

The hypothesis that IUD-adhering macrophages with an ANAE +, DAPIV+, OKM1 +, and HLA-DR + phenotype could play a role in the inactivation of spermatozoa can be proposed.