Antisperm autoantibody responses to vasectomy and vasovasostomy in Fischer and Lewis rats

Charles J. Flickinger, Stuart S. Howards, Leigh Ann Bush, Linda A. Baker, John C. Herr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Antisperm autoanitbodies were studied in Fischer and Lewis strains of rats after either vasectomy, vasectomy followed one month later by vasovasostomy, or sham operations. The time course of antibody response to sperm protein autoantigens was assayed by Western blot analysis of sera obtained at intervals up to 3 months. Rats of both strains responded to immunization with isologous spermatozoa with production of high titer hyperimmune sera. Sera from vasectomized Fischer rats showed antisperm antibodies on Western blots, but bands were stained with less intensity and frequency than for Lewis rats. In both Fischer and Lewis strains, major protein autoantigens were observed at 75-83, 68-71, 63, 57, 51, 41, and 21-23 kDa, lending support to the hypothesis that there is a set of dominant sperm autoantigens recognized by a consensus of postvasectomy rat sera. The lesser response of Fisher rats to vasectomy was not due to absence of dominant postvasectomy sperm autoantigens in Fischer sperm extracts, nor was it attributable to inability of Fischer rats to mount an immune response to these antigens, since immunization with isologous sperm was successful in raising antibodies to the dominant autoantigens. Vasovasostomy did not result in a general decrease in antisperm antibodies, and reactions to some antigens actually increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-157
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of reproductive immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1995


  • Antisperm antibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Rats
  • Vasectomy
  • Vasovasostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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