Anti-endometrial autoantibodies in women with a diagnosis of infertility

J. R. Palacio, A. Iborra, J. M. Gris, P. Andolz, P. Martínez

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PROBLEM: The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency of anti-endometrial antibodies (AEA) in infertile women. METHOD OF STUDY: Sera from fertile women (n = 6), and from patients with ovulatory dysfunction (n = 11), tubal obstruction (n = 9) and unexplained infertility (n = 5) were investigated for the presence of anti-endometrial membrane antibodies. We used two human endometrial cancer cell lines and human endometrial cells from gynecological biopsies as an antigenic source for analysis. The immunoenzymatic assay (ELISA) was performed with cultured endometrial cells in monolayers. Immunoblot analysis was performed with these two cell lines. RESULTS: A good correlation between the response with each cell line and with human endometrial cells was obtained, indicating that the antigens analyzed were probably similar. Endometrial antibodies were detectable in a high percentage of women with tubal obstruction (77.8 and 66.7%, respectively) and ovulatory dysfunction (54.5 and 45.5%, respectively). Unexplained infertility showed anti-endometrial immunological response (40 and 60%, respectively). Some endometrial antigens in infertile women are the target for autoimmune response. The serum from a patient with tubal obstruction and ovulatory dysfunction showed two antigens by immunoblot, with molecular weights of 97 and 50 kDa. CONCLUSION: The presence of anti-endometrial antibodies, detected by ELISA, is associated with infertility, mainly with ovulatory dysfunction and tubal obstruction. Some endometrial antigens may be involved in these two pathologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • Anti-endometrial antibodies
  • Autoantibodies
  • Female infertility
  • Ovulatory dysfunction
  • Tubal obstruction


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