Soluble HLA-G and TGF-β in couples attending assisted reproduction – A possible role of TGF-β isoforms in semen?

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Soluble isoforms of the non-classical Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-G as well as Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-β is expressed in seminal plasma possibly influencing the pregnancy potential. We wanted to examine the association of seminal plasma sHLA-G, TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and TGFβ3 with pregnancy success in a cohort of 127 couples and 4 single women attending fertility treatment with the use of assisted reproduction technologies (ART). Soluble HLA-G, TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 in seminal plasma did not fluctuate significantly over time. We did not find any impact of seminal plasma sHLA-G, TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 on time-to-pregnancy measured as number of treatment cycles. There was a significant association between concentrations of seminal plasma sHLA-G and HLA-G variations in the 3’untranslated region (3’UTR) of the HLA-G gene, supporting and extending previous findings. Furthermore, by comparing seminal plasma concentrations of sHLA-G, TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 in male subjects with reduced semen quality, male subjects with normal semen quality, and sperm donors, we found that TGF-β2 was significantly lower, and TGF-β3 was significantly higher, in seminal plasma from sperm donors. These findings suggest that TGF-β isoforms may influence semen quality and fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102857
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • ART, HLA-G, Infertility, Reproduction, TGF-β

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