Comparison of different assays for circulating immune complexes in age matched vasectomized and non-vasectomized men
Sera from 46 men vasectomized for 5 yr and from 46 age-matched nonvasectomized men had previously been analyzed for circulating immune complexes (CICs) by four assays. Four additional CIC assays have now been performed on these sera: three Raji cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) using alkaline phosphatase-conjugated antihuman IgG, IgA or C3 and the bull sperm ELISA. No significant differences in CIC levels were detected between the two groups using any of the assays. Results for two different sera obtained from 16 men 4 1/2 months apart correlated significantly for six of seven CIC assays evaluated in this way. In the bull sperm and Raji cell ELISAs, utilizing anti-IgG in the detection layer, the vasectomized men with sperm-agglutinating antibodies were found to have significantly higher CIC levels than those without sperm agglutinants. No association was found between the presence of sperm protamine antibody and levels of CICs. Since the vasectomized and control groups did not differ with respect to levels of CICs, immunoglobulins, or the complement C3 split product C3d, all 92 samples were combined into one group for further analysis. Serum IgG levels significantly correlated with the CIC levels in four of five CIC assays involving binding of IgG; IgA levels correlated with CIC determinations in the Raji-IgA assay, while plasma C3d levels correlated with the Raji-C3, the Raji-IgA, and the C1q-protein A binding assays. IgM levels did not correlate with activity in any assay. Finally, the degree of correlation between all eight CIC assays was determined, and significant positive correlations between assays were found in ten of twenty-eight comparisons.