Antigenic differences in human sperm samples related to various morphological abnormalities

R. K. Naz, D. Barad, P. Barg, K. Ahmad, K. Bhargava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Sperm samples were collected from male partners of fertile and infertile couples having unexplained and male factor infertility and analyzed for morphological abnormalities. After a staining procedure, sperm samples of these infertile men showed a variety of abnormalities. The sperm samples were also studied for their binding with the Abs directed against protamine (the nuclear protein), fertilization antigen (FA-1, sperm surface antigen), and the lithium diiodosalicylate- (US-) solubilized sperm preparation, and the binding was correlated with the percentage of morphologically abnormal sperm in the sample. Abs used in the present study were raised in female rabbits and had high titers (ELISA titers, 1:4096 to 1:8196), and recognized no band (anti-protamine), one 49,000- ± 2000-dalton band (anti-FA-1), and at least 8 bands of various molecular identities in the 14,000- to 92,000-dalton range (anti-US sperm) on the Western blot of LIS-solubilized human sperm. The affinity-purified Fab' antibodies were iodinated and used in a radioim-munobindingassay for testing their binding with the sperm cells. Anti-protamine Fab's showed minimal binding and the binding activity (cpm bound/10 ± 10 sperm cells) did not correlate (head defect, r =. 12; midpiece defect, r =. 07; tail defect, r =. 11) significantly with percentage of abnormal cells in the sample. The binding of the anti-FA-1 Fab's also did not show a significant correlation (head defect, r =. 29; midpiece defect, r =. 48; tail defect, r =. 23), though a positive trend (p =. 05) was observed with the midpiece defect. In contrast, the binding of anti-LIS sperm Fab' s demonstrated a significant correlation with the percentage of abnormal sperm cells in the sample (head defect, r =. 51, p equals;04; midpiece defect, r =. 80, p < 0001; tail defect, r =. 23, p =. 039). With an increased percentage of abnormal sperm cells, especially those with midpiece defect, there was an increased binding of anti-LIS sperm Fab's. These results suggest that with an increase in percentage of abnormal sperm, there is a change in antigenicity of the sperm cells. An increase in structural abnormality may enhance antibody binding to an abnormal sperm cell, thus causing a further decrease in its fertilizing capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalSystems Biology in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Infertility
  • Radioimmunobindingassay
  • Sperm abnormality
  • Sperm antigens


Dive into the research topics of 'Antigenic differences in human sperm samples related to various morphological abnormalities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this