Regional heterogeneity of human spermatozoa detected with monoclonal antibodies

in Reproduction
Authors: S. Villarroya and R. Scholler
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Summary. The regional antigenic heterogeneity of human spermatozoa is confirmed with 6 monoclonal antibodies raised against ejaculated human spermatozoa. The topographical localization of the antigenic determinants suggests the existence of at least 6 domains on the human spermatozoon. Different fixatives had severe detrimental effects on the antigen—antibody binding. On live human spermatozoa, each antibody bound to a distinct region: acrosome, equatorial segment, entire tail, neck, midpiece and terminal piece. The antigens detected on the acrosome, equatorial segment and entire tail were surface components, whereas the other three were intracellular structures. The determinant present along the entire tail was a sperm-coating antigen. The molecular weights of the recognized antigens were estimated with the Western blot technique.

Immunostaining of individual ejaculates established that the percentages of positive cells were 12–56% for the acrosome, 8–35% for the equatorial segment, 90–100% for the entire tail, 20–52% for the neck, 9–35% for the midpiece and 36–90% for the terminal piece. In addition, labelling of motile and immotile spermatozoa showed differences in the percentages of positive cells, with 5 out of 6 monoclonal antibodies, or in the fluorescence intensity, with the last one labelling the entire tail.


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