Maiden mares (n=6), previously injected with stallion sperm cells (SC group, n=2), stallion seminal plasma (SP group, n=2), or phosphate-buffered saline as a control (C group, n=2) were followed through 5 consecutive estrous cycles to evaluate their clinical response when exposed to stallion sperm cells via breeding. Management was similar to that expected on typical breeding farms. The mares were teased daily and bred by artificial insemination (AI) in all 5 cycles. Differences in serum and uterine flushing equine antisperm antibody (EASA) levels, endometrial culture and cytology results, endometrial biopsy score and fertility were evaluated between treatment groups. An enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) was used to determine serum and uterine IgG and IgA levels specific for sperm cell or seminal plasma antigens. Serum IgG specific for sperm cell antigen was higher in the SC group than in the SP and C groups following exposure to sperm cells via breeding (P<0.05). All other EASA levels were not different between groups (P>0.05); however, uterine IgA levels in one of the SC treated mares did rise over all 5 cycles. No differences were detected in culture, cytology, biopsy or fertility results between groups (P>0.05). Changes in EASA levels were detected after breeding mares previously immunized with stallion sperm cells, however an associated clinical response was not apparent.
- antisperm antibodies