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Keywords:

  • Fertilization;
  • immunology;
  • male reproductive tract;
  • puberty;
  • sperm antigens

Problem:  Immune infertility may result from the presence of anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) in sera of sensitized individuals or in their genito-urinary millieu. According to some authors, sera of pre-pubertal boys with genital disorders may contain ASA, too. When identified and characterized, sperm antigenic components can be employed for diagnostic and/or for immunocontraceptive purposes.

Method of Study:  Sperm auto- and isoimmune reactive surface antigens were identified by means of immunoprecipitation. Comparative immunoprecipitations of somatic antigens by using antibodies, contained in polyclonal sera of fertile and (immunologically) infertile adults as well as pre-pubertal boys with gonadal failures were performed.

Results and Conclusions:  Antibodies contained in sera of the all studied populations reacted with a number of sperm as well as somatic antigens. However, we distinguished a panel of antigens localized exclusively on the surface of sperm cells, reacting with ASA positive sera (in the range of molecular weight between 15 and 115 kDa), some of them seem to present novel entities as can be judged by the molecular weight.