Studies on Sperm Survival and Motility in the Presence of Cytotoxic Sperm Antibodies

Authors

  • Dr. SUBBI MATHUR,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    2. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • CHRISTAL ROSENLUND,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • MARGUERITE CARLTON,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • JODY CALDWELL,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • MICHELE BARBER,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • PHILIP F. RUST,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    2. Department of Biometry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • H. OLIVER WILLIAMSON

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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Reproductive Immunology Research Laboratories, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The effect of cytotoxic sperm antibodies and native complement in the serum and secretions from 40 fertile and 93 infertile couples on in vitro sperm survival and motion characteristics was studied. Sperm survival in vitro was unaffected by sera from fertile and infertile subjects without cytotoxic sperm antibodies and from infertile men with antibodies to control but not to autologous sperm. Sperm survival was reduced (P < .001) by sera from infertile men with antibodies to autologous sperm or to antologous and control sperm and from women with cytotoxic antibodies to sperm from both. Sera from fertile couples without sperm antibodies enhanced sperm swimming speed and motility index (P < .0001). Sera from infertile women with or without cytotoxic sperm antibodies did not affect sperm motility. Sperm survival and motility were reduced by seminal plasma from infertile men with cytotoxic antibodies to autologous and/or control sperm. Seminal plasma from fertile men enhanced sperm survival. Cervical mucus from infertile women with antibodies to autoimmune husbands' sperm or to husbands' and control sperm inhibited sperm motion, whereas cervical mucus from infertile women without sperm antibodies and women with antibodies to control sperm failed to have any effect. It is concluded that cytotoxic sperm antibodies developed through exposure to sperm antigens in autoimmune infertile men decrease in vitro sperm survival and/or motility.

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