Sperm Antibodies and Human Fertilization


Andrology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, The Royal Women's Hospital, Carlton, Victoria, 3053, Australia.


ABSTRACT: Previous investigations using zona-free hamster oocytes and salt-stored human zonae pellucidae, and retrospective analysis of routine human in vitro fertilization (IVF) results have suggested that sperm antibodies can impair the fertilizing capacity of human spermatozoa. The results of our investigations using viable human oocytes confirm that human antispermatozoal antibodies can inhibit fertilization by human spermatozoa. In the future we plan to examine the mechanism of fertilization inhibition, including characterization of the sperm antigens involved. These studies may facilitate the development of iromunocontraceptive vaccines and of new treatments for immunological infertility.