Analysis of human sperm membrane antigens reacting with sera from antisperm antibody positive and negative patients by Western blotting

De Beer P.M. ; Windt M.L. ; Bouic P.J.D. (1993)

Article

Immunological infertility is thought to be caused by the binding of antibodies to 'fertility-related' antigen(s) on the sperm membrane. We compared antibody profiles in sera from 20 ASA(+) and ASA(-) men, using a sperm membrane extract as an antigen. Antigens were separated by SDS-PAGE under reducing conditions. The patients were classed as ASA(+) by the MAR (>50%), d-IBT (>20%) and TAT (>1:64). The results showed that immunoreactive bands in both the ASA(+) and ASA(-) groups were heterogenous and included bands covering the whole molecular weight range. Statistical analysis showed significantly more patients in the ASA(+) group having immunoreactive bands at molecular weights of 32 Kd (P = 0.006) and 79 Kd (P = 0.02) when compared to the ASA(-) group. In the ASA(-) group significantly more patients had reactive bands at 81 Kd (P = 0.01) when compared to the ASA(+) group. The 32 Kd antigen reacted only with sera from ASA(+) patients. We conclude that differences exist between the ASA(+) and ASA(-) groups when this extraction method is used and that the isolation and purification of the 32 Kd protein may justify further investigation.

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