Unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA) is defined as an unknown cause of occurrence of three or more clinically detectable pregnancy losses before 20 weeks of gestation, but it occurs presumably as a result of the immune system dysfunctions. We supposed that the disruption of semen or spermatozoa might be responsible for the dysfunction of the immune system in women with URSA. Semen and spermatozoa (as antigens) induce female reproductive tract (FRT) immunity. This stimulated immunity is necessary for pregnancy occurrence. The disruption of semen or spermatozoa can be a result of altering a variety of surface molecules on spermatozoa, especially polymorphic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules or antigens. Despite the importance of HLA antigens in reproduction, to the best of our knowledge, no one has studied the relation of HLA expression between spermatozoa and URSA. Therefore, this paper aims to assess this relation.
Semen samples were collected from 15 URSA couples and 20 normal couples. After purification of normal spermatozoa, the HLA class I and II expressions were evaluated by flow cytometry methods.
Results showed that the expression of both HLA class I and II by spermatozoa, in URSA couples, was significantly less than the control couples.
The decreased expression of polymorphic HLA class Ⅰ and Ⅱ by spermatozoa can be related to URSA occurrence.