H-Y Antigen Expression Patterns in Human X- and Y-Chromosome-Bearing Spermatozoa

Authors

  • E. SCOTT SILLS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
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  • IRENA KIRMAN,

    1. Department of Medicine, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
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  • LILIANA T. COLOMBERO,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
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  • JUNE HARIPRASHAD,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
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  • ZEV ROSENWAKS,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
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  • GIANPIERO D. PALERMO

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
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HT-338, New York Hospital, 505 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021.

Abstract

PROBLEM: Restricted expression of H-Y antigen on Y-chromosome-bearing sperm has been reported in some species, although such preferential expression for H-Y antigen in human sperm has yet to be described. In this study, an immunomagnetic approach was used to characterize antigen expression patterns as a function of sex-chromosome content.

METHOD OF STUDY: Human sperm was treated with monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) M antibodies directed against H-Y antigen. This preparation then was incubated with sheep antimouse IgM antibody affixed to paramagnetic beads, which then were exposed to a magnetic field and sorted. X- and Y-chromosome frequencies in the two subgroups of sperm were assayed by multiprobe fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).

RESULTS: Sperm were immunomagnetically separated into two populations: a reactive group (presumably, H-Y Ag+); and a nonreactive group (presumably, H-Y Ag-). Triple-color FISH analysis of 1,600 spermatozoa (800 in each group) showed the antigen's expression to be somewhat more prevalent among Y-chromosome-bearing sperm (54.1%), but a large proportion of Y-chromosome-bearing sperm (49.0%) did not express this antigen. The difference was not significant (P = 0.43).

CONCLUSIONS: The expression of H-Y antigen has a slightly higher frequency in human sperm containing the Y-chromosome, but its expression among X-chromosome-bearing sperm also is considerable. Current immunologic techniques relying on this antigen are unlikely to effect the sex selection of human sperm.

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