Identification of an Oolemmal IgG Fc Receptor: Its Role in Promoting Binding of Antibody-Labelled Human Sperm to Zona-Free Hamster Eggs


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Health Sciences Center, T-9, 060, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8091.


ABSTRACT: Antisperm antibodies (ASAs) present in sera of infertile men and women have been shown either to promote or inhibit penetration of zona-free hamster eggs by antibody-labelled human spermatozoa. Increased numbers of oolemmal-bound sperm have been noted in association with increased sperm penetration frequencies, following antibody labelling, when compared with antibody-free sperm. The promotion of adherence of ASA-labelled sperm to the oolemma could be mediated through the binding of antibodies to common epitopes present on the sperm and egg surfaces or through Fc-mediated binding to an oolemmal Fc receptor. In support of the latter hypothesis, we report that zona-free hamster eggs bind aggregated human IgG and IgG Fc fragments. The presence of an oolemmal IgG Fc receptor has been confirmed using a rat monoclonal antibody (2.4G2) directed against a murine IgG Fc receptor (Fc γ RII) as judged both by indirect immunofluorescence and by immunobead binding. In addition, the pre-incubation of zona-free hamster eggs with IgG Fc diminished both adhesion to and penetration of the oolemma by human spermatozoa.