The role of SPRASA in female fertility

Reprod Sci. 2015 Apr;22(4):452-61. doi: 10.1177/1933719114542009. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Fertility is a complex process and infertility can have many causes. Sperm protein reactive with antisperm antibody (SPRASA)/sperm lysozyme-like protein 1 is a protein discovered as the target of autoantibodies in infertile men and previously thought to be expressed only in sperm. Using a bovine in vitro fertilization model, we have shown that SPRASA antiserum reduced sperm binding to zona-free oocytes and the development of embryos to morulae but did not affect the postfertilization cleavage rate to 2 cells or sperm motility. We demonstrated that SPRASA was expressed in ovarian follicles, corpora lutea, and oocytes by a combination of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Female mice immunized with SPRASA had profound infertility following timed matings and those mice that did become pregnant had reduced fetal viability. The levels of antibodies reactive with SPRASA in 204 fertile and 202 infertile couples were elevated in 3 infertile but no fertile women. Together, these results indicate that SPRASA has a role in female fertility.

Keywords: SLLP1; SPACA3; SPRASA; contraceptive; infertility; oocyte.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cats
  • Cattle
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum / immunology
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum / metabolism
  • Corpus Luteum / immunology
  • Corpus Luteum / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Embryo Culture Techniques
  • Embryonic Development
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / immunology
  • Infertility, Female / metabolism*
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Isoantigens / genetics
  • Isoantigens / immunology
  • Isoantigens / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Oocytes / immunology
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Ovarian Follicle / immunology
  • Ovarian Follicle / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / genetics
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / immunology
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sperm-Ovum Interactions


  • Autoantibodies
  • Isoantigens
  • SLLP1 protein, mouse
  • SPACA3 protein, human
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins