There is compelling evidence for an autoimmune disease of the ovary. Ovarian autoimmunity may affect 1-2 million women in the US. In order to identify women with ovarian autoimmunity we developed prototype immunoassays to detect ovary specific autoantibodies, and used them to develop phenotypic information on the association of ovarian autoimmunity with premature menopause (premature ovarian failure or POF) and unexplained infertility. Further human research and clinical use depends on identification of the relevant protein antigens. The objective of the proposed study is to identify major autoantigens relevant to the phenotypes associated with ovarian autoimmunity. Previous studies suggest that ovary specific autoantibodies react with several ovarian antigens. In addition, autoimmune sera react with four predominant bands of ovarian protein in one-dimensional Western blots. This is consistent with other autoimmune diseases in which antibodies to multiple antigens have the most significant predictive value for disease. We will test the hypothesis that positive sera react with more than one major ovarian antigen (Aim 1). Proteomics methodology combined with the use of a systematically selected panel of autoimmune sera will be used to identify major protein antigens. Recombinant forms of the identified human proteins will be produced. The reaction of each identified protein with the autoimmune sera test panel will be evaluated to verify the authenticity of identified proteins.
In Aim 2 the hypothesis that autoimmune POF and unexplained infertility share the same antigens will be tested in order to support the concept that they represent different stages of the same autoimmune disorder. The reaction of sera from women with POF and unexplained infertility will be compared by immunoassay using the identified proteins produced in Aim 1. Furthermore, previous studies showed that ovarian antibodies are associated with a low likelihood of pregnancy after infertility treatment.
In Aim 3, the hypothesis that autoantibodies to identified proteins also predict a low likelihood of pregnancy in women with unexplained infertility after in-vitro fertilization will be tested. We will determine if autoantibodies to one antigen or a combination of antigens has predictive value for pregnancy. The proposed study is expected to improve the precision with which ovarian autoimmunity is detected. This will permit studies of disease pathogenesis, health risks associated with ovarian autoimmunity, genetic factors associated with disease susceptibility and improve clinical diagnosis. It will also contribute to a better understanding of an autoimmune disease that affects women's health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Immunological Sciences Study Section (IMS)
Program Officer
Esch, Thomas R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Rush University Medical Center
United States
Zip Code
Yu-Rice, Yi; Edassery, Seby L; Urban, Nicole et al. (2017) Selenium-Binding Protein 1 (SBP1) autoantibodies in ovarian disorders and ovarian cancer. Reproduction 153:277-284
Bradaric, Michael J; Penumatsa, Krishna; Barua, Animesh et al. (2013) Immune cells in the normal ovary and spontaneous ovarian tumors in the laying hen (Gallus domesticus) model of human ovarian cancer. PLoS One 8:e74147
Hellstrom, Ingegerd; Swisher, Elizabeth; Hellstrom, Karl Erik et al. (2013) Anti-HE4 antibodies in infertile women and women with ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol 130:629-33
Luborsky, Judith L; Yu, Yi; Edassery, Seby L et al. (2011) Autoantibodies to mesothelin in infertility. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 20:1970-8
Edassery, Seby L; Shatavi, Seerin V; Kunkel, Jeremy P et al. (2010) Autoantigens in ovarian autoimmunity associated with unexplained infertility and premature ovarian failure. Fertil Steril 94:2636-41
Barua, Animesh; Edassery, Seby L; Bitterman, Pincas et al. (2009) Prevalence of antitumor antibodies in laying hen model of human ovarian cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer 19:500-7
Barua, Animesh; Bitterman, Pincas; Abramowicz, Jacques S et al. (2009) Histopathology of ovarian tumors in laying hens: a preclinical model of human ovarian cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer 19:531-9
Stammer, Karen; Edassery, Seby L; Barua, Animesh et al. (2008) Selenium-Binding Protein 1 expression in ovaries and ovarian tumors in the laying hen, a spontaneous model of human ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol 109:115-21
Barua, Animesh; Abramowicz, Jacques S; Bahr, Janice M et al. (2007) Detection of ovarian tumors in chicken by sonography: a step toward early diagnosis in humans? J Ultrasound Med 26:909-19
Barua, Animesh; Bradaric, Michael J; Kebede, Tewabe et al. (2007) Anti-tumor and anti-ovarian autoantibodies in women with ovarian cancer. Am J Reprod Immunol 57:243-9

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications