Dominant prostasome immunogens for sperm-agglutinating autoantibodies of infertile men

J Androl. Sep-Oct 2004;25(5):699-705. doi: 10.1002/j.1939-4640.2004.tb02844.x.


The presence of naturally occurring anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) is a well-known cause of infertility in men and women, but the antigens for these antibodies are poorly characterized. We have previously shown that prostasomes adhere to sperm cells and that prostasomes are major targets for ASA associated with infertility. These autoantigens have not been characterized. We used 2-dimensional electrophoresis, immunoblotting, and mass-spectrometry to identify the prostasome antigens for these autoantibodies. By these techniques, we revealed that prolactin-inducible protein (PIP) and clusterin were dominant prostasome immunogens for sperm-agglutinating autoantibodies of 20 patients with immunological infertility. PIP was identified by 19 of 20 (95%) patient sera and clusterin by 17 of 20 (85%). In addition, 10 sporadically occurring prostasomal antigens were identified in this context, viz alcohol dehydrogenase [NADP+], annexin I, annexin III, BRCA1-associated ring domain protein 1, heat shock 27-kd protein, isocitrate dehydrogenase, lactoylglutathione lyase, NG,NG-dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1, peroxiredoxin 2, and syntenin 1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoantigens / isolation & purification*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / immunology*
  • Male
  • Prostate / immunology*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Spermatozoa / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens