Journal article

Etiology of sperm immunity in women

Gary N Clarke

FERTILITY AND STERILITY | ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC | Published : 2009

Abstract

Sperm immunity in females can reduce the likelihood of natural conception, and sperm antibodies from female sera have been shown to inhibit IVF in humans and in several animal models. The etiology of sperm immunity in human females is unknown, but several possible mechanisms have been proposed, including cross-reactivity with microbial antigens and interferon gamma-mediated potentiation of the antisperm immune response in women whose male partners have sperm autoantibodies in their semen. This article reviews these ideas and postulates a novel hypothesis based on the potential for the generation of anti-idiotype antibodies in women whose partners have sperm antibodies in their semen.