CORRELATION BETWEEN MORPHOLOGY OF MOTILE SPERMATOZOA AND SPERM BOUND IgG IN IMPAIRED SEMEN

B.R. Gilbert1 and G.W. Cooper2. Div. of Urology, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Div. of Human Reproduction, North Shore University Hospital-Cornell Medical Center2

The morphology of motile spermatozoa in 389 consecutive semen samples from 259 men presenting for male factor subfertility were analyzed by phase-contrast microscopy. Less than 50% of motile spermatozoa had normal oval head forms (World Health Organization criteria) in 335 (93.3%) of these samples. Using a direct SpermMar assay of semen to detect IgG bound to motile spermatozoa, 67 (17%) of the 389 semen had greater than 20% of spermatozoa positive for IgG bound to the head (HB), midpiece (MpB) or tail (TB). Multiple regression analysis (StatView II, Abacus Concepts, Inc.) of the morphologic characteristics of motile spermatozoa in semen positive for antisperm IgG shows a close correlation (p 0.05) between semen with high percentages of tapered head forms (10 to >40%) and the presence of IgG bound over both the head, midpiece and tail of spermatozoa of all morphologic types. No correlation was found between other head defects collectively and sperm bound IgG. Impaired semen with increased number of tapered head forms consequently appear to have a greater autoantigenicity than semen with defects other than tapered forms.