Antisperm antibodies and lymphocyte subsets in semen--not a simple relationship

C L Barratt (Lead / Corresponding author), P E Harrison, A Robinson, I D Cooke

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The significance of white blood cells in the ejaculate remains a matter of controversy. Several authors have suggested that such cells are important in the modulation of an antisperm antibody response, i.e. a predominance of suppressor/cytotoxic to helper/inducer T cells may prevent the development of antisperm antibodies. In order to examine this relationship further we have documented the white blood cell types, with emphasis on the T-lymphocyte populations, in the ejaculates of men from infertile couples with and without antisperm antibodies; the latter group was divided further into two groups--vasovasostomized men and idiopathic men. All seven of the men without antisperm antibodies had a predominance of suppressor/cytotoxic T cells to helper/inducer T cells in the ejaculate. However, only in some of the men with antibodies was there a predominance of T-helper/inducer cells. It is clear that the relationship between antisperm antibodies and seminal leucocytes is therefore not as straightforward as has been proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-8
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1990


  • Antibodies/analysis
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male/immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Spermatozoa/immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology
  • Vasovasostomy


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