The immune fluorescence technique has been used to study reactions between serum and spermatozoa from several species of mammals.
Normal serum from adult guinea-pigs, rabbits, mice and men stained the acrosomes of homologous and heterologous spermatozoa, staining being most intense with rabbit and guinea-pig spermatozoa. Staining was weak with sera from rabbits up to 3 weeks of age, and could be removed by heating or Seitz-filtering the sera. Sera from immature guinea-pigs likewise lost most of their staining capacity on heating. Differences in the intensity of staining appeared to be determined chiefly by the species of spermatozoa rather than by the species of serum.
Serum from guinea-pigs immunized with homologous spermatozoa stained the surface of homologous sperm tails, in addition to the acrosomal staining. A slight cross-reaction probably occurred between this serum and the tails of hamster spermatozoa, but not with spermatozoa from other species. Immunization of rabbits with homologous spermatozoa failed to produce any tail staining.
The two reactions between serum and spermatozoa, i.e. with acrosomes and tails, are discussed in relation to the isoantigenicity of spermatozoa, and to induced aspermatogenesis following the injection of testis or spermatozoa and adjuvant.
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