Sensitization to spermatozoa in benign and malignant diseases of the prostate

R. J. Ablin, V. Kulikauskas

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Penetration of prostatic epithelial cells, under suboptimal conditions, by spermatozoa or fragments thereof, in the presence of the immunosuppressive properties of seminal plasma has been hypothesized as contributory to the development of aberrant cellular alterations in the prostate gland. A possible consequence of spermatozoal penetration might be reflected in the development of humoral- and/or cell-mediated sensitization to spermatozoa. In an initial investigation of this possibility, serum from patients (pts) with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and carcinoma of the prostate (CaP) as evaluated for the presence of circulating antibodies to spermatozoa (ASA). Serum from pts with benign and malignant genitourinary tumors other than of the prostate served as controls. ASA were evaluated by: i) capillary tube agglutination with washed allogeneic spermatozoa, ii) countercurrent immunoelectrophoresis (CIEP), and iii) passive hemagglutination (PHA) employing chromic chloride and tannic acid treated erythrocytes coated with sonicated allogeneic spermatozoal extracts. ASA were observed in 9 (60%) of 15 pts with BPH and 14 (44%) of 34 CaP pts by one or more of the procedures employed. Other than the concomitant presence of ASA in 3 pts by CIEP and PHA, no correlation of positivity from one test to the other was observed. While providing indirect support to the possible role of spermatozoa in the development of aberrant cellular alterations in the prostate, these results also point to the need for more effective and specific methods for the evaluation of ASA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816
Number of pages1
JournalIRCS Medical Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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