ABH and Lewis Antigens in Human Male Accessory Sex Glands

  • Margherita Cossu
  • Maria Serenella Lantini
  • Roberto Migliari
Part of the Electron Microscopy in Biology and Medicine book series (EMBM, volume 11)


Antigenic properties of human semen are due to sperm surface antigens produced by germinal cells during spermatogenesis (intrinsic antigens) and to those of seminal plasma. The latter are in part serum proteins, in part substances common to semen and other body fluids, and in part seminal plasma-specific antigens [15]. They are supplied by the male accessory sex organs and can be absorbed on the sperm surface (sperm-coating antigens). An example of sperm-coating antigens is ABH antigens, first found on spermatozoa by Landsteiner and Levine [14] and in seminal plasma by Edwards et al. [6]. ABH antigens are expressed in erythrocytes and in the cell membranes of endothelia and of a variety of tissues, and enter in the composition of several secretions such as saliva, milk, tears, and digestive juices [22]. Their antigenic determinants consist of a few sugars linked to a precursor molecule by distinct glycosyltransferases coded by the ABO, H, and Se genes [19].


Blood Group Seminal Vesicle Seminal Plasma Secretor Status Human Semen 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margherita Cossu
  • Maria Serenella Lantini
  • Roberto Migliari

There are no affiliations available

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