Spermatozoa Induce Maternal Mononuclear Cells for Production of Antibody with Cytotoxic Activity on Paternal Blood Mononuclear Cells

Document Type : Original Article


1 .Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran;.Asadabad School of Medical Science, Asadabad, Iran

2 .Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 .Autoimmune Diseases Research Centre, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

4 4.University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK


The maternal immune response to paternal antigens is induced at insemination. We believe that pregnancy protective alloantibodies, such as anti-paternal cytotoxic antibody (APCA), may be produced against the paternal antigens in the context of stimulated immunity at insemination and that they increase during pregnancy. APCA is necessary for pregnancy. It is directed towards paternal human leucocyte antigens (HLAs) and has cytotoxic activity against paternal leucocytes. The present study aims to determine whether APCA is produced by the maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in contact with the husband’s spermatozoa and to evaluate the relation of APCA production with HLA class I and II expressions by spermatozoa in fertile couples.
Materials and Methods
This cross-sectional study included 30 fertile couples with at least one child. The maternal PBMCs were co-cultured with the husband’s spermatozoa and the supernatant was assessed for the presence of IgG by ELISA. Cytotoxic activity of the supernatant on the husband’s PBMCs was assessed by the complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) assay.
IgG was produced in all co-cultures, and the mean level of supernatant IgG was 669 ng/ml. The cytotoxic activity of the supernatant was observed in all the supernatant obtained from the co-cultures. The mean percentage of APCA in supernatant was 73.93%.
Based on the results of this study it can be concluded that APCA may be a natural anti-sperm antibody (ASA), which can be produced during exposure to spermatozoa and may have some influence before pregnancy. Further research is required to determine the role of APCA before pregnancy.