Navigation Links
UVA researchers find important clue to immune infertility

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (Sept. 12, 2007) Most of us have never heard of immune infertility, yet it prevents many prospective parents from conceiving.

Immune infertility is one of 80 autoimmune disorders, a group that includes better-known diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Type 1 Diabetes. This reproductive disorder affects both men and women, causing their immune systems to wage war on sperm.

A recent discovery at the University of Virginia Health System may help pinpoint what molecules assist the immune system in attacking sperm. In the July 2007 issue of Gene, UVa researchers reported finding a new human protein, radial spoke protein 44 (RSP44). Exposure to RSP44 caused infertile men to produce antisperm antibodies (ASA) in their serum.

Weve spent several years looking for sperm molecules that evoke antibody responses in humans, says Dr. John C. Herr, director of UVas Center for Research in Contraceptive and Reproductive Health. The identification of RSP44 gives us additional insight into immune infertility and may prove useful in diagnosing the disorder in a subset of men. RSP44 will likely not be a dominant antigen in everyone.

Researchers believe that RSP44 belongs to a highly conserved and ancient gene family. It can be found in all men, residing in the sperm tail at the center of a structure known as the axoneme. There, it clusters around microtubules involved in sperm movement. Both men and women have RSP44 in hair-like strands, called cilia, in the bronchioles of their lungs, the ventricles of their brains and the lumens of their thyroid gland.

The discovery of RSP44 also promises to broaden scientific thinking about the causes of immune infertility. Until now, researchers believed that ASA only targeted the surface of the sperm membrane.

Because RSP44 is located in the heart of the axoneme, it doesnt appear to be directly involved in ASA binding at the sperm membrane. Identifying RSP44 as an antigen in several individuals indicates it may serve as a useful biomarker of the anti-sperm response, notes Dr. Jagat Shetty, lead author of the UVa paper. There may be mechanisms underlying infertility that are yet to be discovered.

Women with immune infertility produce ASA in their reproductive tracts. These antibodies neutralize sperm by clumping them together and poking holes in their membranes. ASA also coats over receptors involved in sperm-egg binding and fertilization.

An estimated 12 to 15 percent of unexplained infertility in women is linked to ASA. In rare cases, these antibodies have caused women to go into anaphylactic shock upon insemination.

In men, immune infertility has several causes, including vasectomies. After a vasectomy, the body can no longer release sperm and produces antibodies to help engulf and clear them. ASA persist for years in the circulation of vasectomized men and may cause reduced fertility in those who have the procedure reversed (vasovasostomy).

Several therapeutic procedures available through UVa, such as sperm washing and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, have proven beneficial to patients with ASA.


Contact: Ellen McKenna
University of Virginia Health System

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers urge caution in using ear tube surgery
2. Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids
3. Researchers identify the early makers of Neonatal Sepsis
4. OHSU Researchers Announce New Discovery
5. Researchers Identify Gene Connected To Bipolar Disorder
6. Ecstasy shrinks brain!!-researchers unveil the secrets of MDMA.
7. Researchers trick Alzheimers Enzyme
8. Researchers find new HIV hiding place
9. Gene researchers make Malaria-resistant mosquito
10. New Hair in 15 Days Could Now Be A Possibility Say Researchers
11. Researchers developed world’s smallest toothbrus
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Altec Products, ... sponsorship of the Microsoft Dynamics AXUG, GPUG and NAVUG Summits to take place ... NAVUG Summit are independent user conferences designed and led by users to provide ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Element Blue ™, a ... new company, RightSensor™ LLC, an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware supplier that delivers ... fully-managed approach for customers requiring sensor hardware for critical data environments. , RightSensor™, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Relay (, a technology company that ... significant contract that will provide its award-winning private messaging solution to Independence Blue ... success of its Relay program, IBX Wire™, which now has over 550,000 members ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... e-con Systems Inc., a leading embedded ... See3CAM_CU40, the industry’s first RGB-IR pixel format camera with a USB 3.0 interface ... e-con’s See3CAM family of UVC USB 3.0 cameras, is based on the 1/3-inch OV4682 ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Tenn. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... A ... and that’s why SmileCareClub , the leading remote invisible aligner system, has joined ... who would otherwise go without it. For each aligner treatment plan purchased, SmileCareClub will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)...  EndoChoice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:  GI) announced today that ... on Thursday, November 5, 2015 before the market open. ... . --> EndoChoice will hold ... 9:00 a.m. ET to discuss the results. The dial-in ... 317-5469 for international callers. A live webcast of the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Regen BioPharma, Inc. , ... Harry Lander , PhD as its new president.  Dr. Lander ... David Koos as Regen BioPharma prepares to take the ... --> Regen BioPharma, Inc. , (OTCBB: RGBP, ... , PhD as its new president.  Dr. Lander will work ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015 China Jo-Jo Drugstores, ... Jo-Jo "), a leading China-based retail, wholesale and online ... own online and retail pharmacies, announced preliminary half year ... online pharmacy through , growing 438% year ... 25%. China Jo-Jo,s online sales ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: