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UVA researchers find important clue to immune infertility
Date:9/12/2007

tigen 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.


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Contact: Ellen McKenna
ecm6n@virginia.edu
434-982-4490
University of Virginia Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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