Interaction of the human epididymal protein CD52 (HE5) with epididymal spermatozoa from men and cynomolgus monkeys.Mol Reprod Dev. 1997 Oct; 48(2):267-75.MR
A monoclonal antibody (CAMPATH-1 G) against the human lymphocyte surface protein CD52, which is similar to the epididymal secretion HE5, was used to ascertain the presence of this protein on maturing primate spermatozoa by flow cytometry. The percentage of human viable spermatozoa stained specifically with this antibody increased from sperm in spermatocoeles (0.5%), to the efferent ducts (3.8%), corpus (47.2%), and cauda (85.7%) epididymidis. Positive cells revealed staining mainly over the whole tail and postacrosomal region of the sperm head. Spermatozoa (approximately 10%) from both the efferent ducts and corpus epididymidis took up additional antigen when incubated with human distal cauda epididymidal plasma as a source of CD52, and 12-22% of human testicular sperm (from spermatocoeles) took up CD52 from human seminal plasma. In the cynomolgus monkey, nonspecific binding of control IgG was greater than that in human males and net CD52 staining was measurable only on approximately 30% of corpus sperm where it was mainly on the principal piece. Neither caput nor cauda sperm took up human CD52 upon incubation with human seminal plasma, but an additional 27% of corpus sperm expressed CD52. Such uptake of CD52 was drastically reduced, or did not occur, when seminal plasma had been fractionated by filtration through 0.1 microns filters (filtrate II) or 300,000 Da cutoff filters (filtrate III), respectively. Western blots revealed that CD52 contents were much reduced in filtrate II and nondetectable in filtrate III of seminal plasma. Similar reduction of CD52 in the filtrate of cauda epididymidal plasma indicates the association of this epididymal secretion with large molecular factors and suggests their involvement as carriers in the in vivo transfer of the secretion onto the epididymal sperm surface. The in vitro uptake of CD52 by some but not all immature sperm and the detection by Western blotting of much less CD52 in the corpus than the cauda luminal plasma suggest that the acquisition of this epididymal secretion by spermatozoa depends on their maturation status as well as the availability of the protein in the epididymal lumen.