T regulatory (Treg) cells are implicated in maternal immune tolerance of the conceptus at implantation; however, the antigenic and regulatory signals controlling Treg cells in early pregnancy are undefined. To examine the role of male seminal fluid in tolerance induction, the effect of exposure to seminal fluid at mating on responsiveness to paternal alloantigens was examined using paternal tumor cell grafts and by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) challenge on Day 3.5 postcoitum. Exposure to seminal fluid inhibited rejection of paternal tumor cells, independently of fertilization and embryo development, while seminal fluid from major histocompatability complex (MHC)-dissimilar males was less effective. Similarly, mating with intact males suppressed the DTH response to paternal alloantigens in an MHC-specific fashion. Excision of the seminal vesicle glands diminished the tolerance-inducing activity of seminal fluid. Mating with intact males caused an increase in CD4 CD25 cells expressing FOXP3 in the para-aortic lymph nodes draining the uterus, beyond the estrus-associated peak in cycling mice. The increase in CD4 CD25 cells was abrogated when males were vasectomized or seminal vesicles were excised. Collectively, these data provide evidence that exposure to seminal fluid at mating promotes a state of functional tolerance to paternal alloantigens that may facilitate maternal acceptance of the conceptus at implantation, and the effects of seminal fluid are likely to be mediated by expansion of the Treg cell pool. Both seminal plasma and sperm components of the seminal fluid are necessary to confer full tolerance and elicit the Treg cell response, potentially through provision of immune-deviating cytokines and antigens, respectively.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 80 • No. 5