Sensitization to inorganic mercury could be a risk factor for infertility.

INTRODUCTION: Heavy metals can negatively influence the reproduction due to the fact that they are able to impair the immune reactions including autoantibody production in susceptible individuals. In such a way the infertility could be also caused by altered pathologic immune reaction.

AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the in vitro lymphocyte reaction after stimulation with metals and production of gamma interferon and antisperm antibodies in supernatants after lymphocyte stimulation in patients with infertility and with proven antisperm antibodies in their serum. The cause of antisperm antibodies presence was not determined.

METHODS: The diagnosis of metal allergy was performed by the lymphocyte proliferation method modified for metals (MELISA) in supernatants of tissue cultures of lymphocytes without the antigen stimulation and after stimulation with mercury chloride, the in vitro production of gamma interferon and antisperm antibodies was studied by ELISA.

RESULTS: More than 50% of patients were reacting to mercury, iron, aluminium and silver as mean by lymphocyte reactivity. When compared the lymphocyte reaction in patients with and without mercury allergy we found that the lymphocytes of patients with mercury intolerance produced less gamma interferon and more antisperm antibodies in supernatants after mercury stimulation of their lymphocytes.

CONCLUSION: In patients with metal intolerance diagnosed by the MELISA test the release of metal ions from dental materials can be one of the stimulating factors which may adversely affect fertility.

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