An investigation of some immunobiological effects of human seminal antigens on lymphocytes



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An investigation was made into the possible cellular immune response of human seminal antigens. Whole semen, washed sperm, seminal plasma, and dilutions of these were used. The test systems employed were the lymphocyte transformation (LT) and a new microlymphocyte transformation (MLT) tissue culture technique. Samples were obtained from normal male fertility donors and abnormal fertility patients. Phyto hemagglutinin (PHA) and Pokeweed (PWM) mitogens were used as a measurement of positive nonspecific cellular response. Results were based on the measure of incorporation of 3H-thymidine by scintillation counting. The results indicated that the MLT technique is a technically good system for short-term tissue cultures with male reproductive secretions. Other observations revealed that there was a definite cytotoxic dose-response to dilutions of semen in autologous MLT and LT cultures. However, results of MLT cultures containing mitogen plus semen in various combinations indicated that cells retain the ability to react. A difference in the action of PHA and PWM was seen in washed MLT cultures. The physical condition of the human semen donor (even in presumed normals) is an important variable. Observation of cultures from one infertility patient in an allogenic MLT test showed a different type and time response than those of autologous or allogenic normals.