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E. B. BELL

Several investigators have questioned whether rabbit spermatozoa are isoantigenic (Edwards, 1960; Weil, 1960; Beck, Edwards & Young, 1962) and only recently (by injecting rabbit spermatozoa emulsified in Freund's complete adjuvant) has immunological control of fertility been adequately demonstrated (Menge, 1968). In the preliminary experiment to be reported, the injection of homologous spermatozoa in sodium alginate evoked high levels of iso-antibody against rabbit spermatozoa and suppressed fertility. The infertility resulted from a failure of eggs to become fertilized. Fourteen rabbits (nine known fertile, five virgin), ranging in age from 9 to 20 months, were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. All animals were injected weekly for 10 weeks before the first insemination and then again once before each succeeding insemination. On each occasion, experimental animals received 0·25 ml of sperm-alginate suspension (5×107 epididymal spermatozoa/ml) into each of the
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E. B. BELL and ANNE McLAREN

Summary.

Mouse spermatozoa were disrupted in a pressure cell and separated by centrifugation at 1200 g into supernatant and sediment components. Sperm head nuclei were isolated from the sediment by a sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation procedure. Injection of the alumprecipitated supernatant fraction into female mice significantly reduced both litter size (P<0·001) and fertilization rate (P<0·001). Fertility was depressed to a lesser degree by the same antigen when it had not been precipitated. The injection of isolated sperm-head nuclei had no significant effect on litter size or fertilization rate.

Serum antibody against spermatozoa was measured by passive haemagglutination as well as sperm agglutination. Passive haemagglutination titres were significantly higher in mice injected with supernatant preparations than in those receiving whole spermatozoa or sediment fractions. Freezing the supernatant before injection abolished the sperm agglutination titre but did not reduce the degree of impairment of fertility, indicating that sperm agglutinins were not responsible for the induced infertility.

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G. L. FOSS, E. T. BELL, F. J. W. LEWIS, J. A. LORAINE and B. R. POLLARD

Summary.

The effect of clomiphene on the sperm count and hormone excretion is described in a patient with Klinefelter's syndrome, having a 47 XXY karyotype, and in whom a testicular biopsy showed small areas of spermatogenesis.

Clomiphene stimulated the production of morphologically normal motile spermatozoa in the absence of any marked effect on hormone output.

Possible explanations for these findings are discussed.