Macrophages and infertility: enhancement of human macrophage-mediated sperm killing by antisperm antibodies.
The mechanism by which antisperm antibodies inhibit fertility is not completely understood. Macrophages may play a role in mediating infertility by interacting with sperm and destroying gametes. Experiments were conducted evaluating the effect of antisperm antibody on the phagocytosis and lysis of sperm by human peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Sperm from a fertile man treated with sera from normal men and women or medium alone had 5 to 280 molecules of IgG/sperm, as determined by a 125I-labeled anti-human IgG monoclonal antibody assay. By contrast, sperm treated with sera containing antisperm antibodies had 310 to 1240 molecules of IgG/sperm. Peritoneal macrophages harvested from infertile women with tubal/adhesive problems mediated phagocytosis and lysis of 111In-labeled sperm which was enhanced by treatment of the sperm with sera containing antisperm antibodies (39.0% +/- 1.5% versus 76.3% +/- 3.2% phagocytosis, and 3.3% +/- 0.3% versus 23.3% +/- 2.3% lysis of sperm [control versus antibody-treated]). The likelihood of fertilization in couples with antisperm antibody may be determined not only by the antibody but also by the presence of genital tract macrophages capable of destroying the antibody-coated sperm.
London, SN; Haney, AF; Weinberg, JB
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