The presence of antisperm antibodies (ASA) in semen may impair sperm function leading to immunological infertility. The aim of the study was to identify the evolutionary conserved antigens on mouse sperm surface that react with human ASA in order to study the mechanism of autoimmune infertility.
Methods of study
The binding of human ASA to mouse sperm was investigated by means of indirect immunofluorescence. 2D-electrophoresis was applied to separate the biotin-labelled mouse membrane proteins using isoelectric focusing followed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Cognate antigens of ASA from seminal plasma of infertile patients were analysed by Western blotting. Performing avidin-blots it was detected which of the proteins recognized were sperm surface proteins. The spots of interest were analysed by means of mass spectrometry.
ASA bound most frequently (36%) to the post-acrosomal region and to the midpiece of mouse spermatozoa. About 30% of ASA recognized apo lactate dehydrogenase (LDHC4) as a cognate antigen, 30% voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC2). ASA of 20% bound to outer dense fibre protein and 20% of samples recognized glutathione S-transferase mu5.
Human ASA bound to specific cognate antigens of mouse spermatozoa, offering the possibility to study their functional relevance in the mouse model.