Failure of sperm-induced immunosuppression: Association with antisperm antibodies in women
Genome-Wide Association Study
Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
The ability of husbands' sperm to inhibit proliferation of their wives' lymphocytes was measured. Seventeen of 27 sperm samples tested (63%) inhibited lymphocytes from responding to Candida antigens. Eleven of the 27 women (41%) had sera that were positive for antisperm antibodies; sperm from only four of their husbands (36%) were immunosuppressive. In contrast, 13 of the 16 women (81%) without antisperm antibodies had partners with suppressive sperm. Lymphocytes from four women with antisperm antibodies were inhibited by sperm from a fertile donor although not inhibited by their husband's sperm, whereas in three other antibody-positive women neither the husbands' nor donors' sperm were inhibitory. Antisperm antibodies in some women may arise as a consequence of a failure of sperm from their male partners to inhibit lymphocyte activation.