PROBLEM: The presence of naturally occurring antisperm antibodies (ASA) is
a well-known cause of infertility in men and women, but the antigens for th
ese antibodies are usually poorly characterized. Prostasomes, organelles se
creted by human prostatic acinar cells and expelled into the seminal plasma
at ejaculation, can adhere to sperm cells. Thus, we have examined whether
prostasomes could be an antigen for ASA.
METHOD OF STUDY: We have studied the reactivity of chicken antiprostasome a
ntibodies with sperm cells in an agglutination test and conversely the reac
tivity of serum positive for ASA from 20 infertile patients, with spermatoz
oa using flow cytometry and with purified prostasomes using enzyme-linked i
RESULTS: The chicken antiprostasome antibody caused agglutination of sperm
cells similarly to the agglutination observed with patients' sera. All of t
hese patients' sera contained IgG antibodies against prostasomes.
CONCLUSIONS: The high percentage of patients with antiprostasome antibodies
in this study shows that prostasomes could be one of the major targets for