Lymphocyte immunoregulatory cells present in semen from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals: A report from the HIV heterosexual transmission study

Thomas N. Denny, Joan H. Skurnick, Ambrosia Garcia, George Perez, Marian Passannante, Jose Colon, Alice Sheffet, Stanley Weiss, Donald Louria

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8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the types and distribution of immune subsets present in semen from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected (HIV+) individuals and to compare these values with those measures in semen from HIV-negative (HIV-) individuals. To accomplish this, a direct three-color monoclonal antibody labeling technique was employed to identify immune cells in fresh ejaculates. Once labeled, the percent of each immune subset present in the ejaculate was determined by flow cytometric analysis. The percent of CD3+ cells present in the semen of the HIV+ group showed no significant difference when compared with semen from the HIV- group. Analysis of the CD4+ subset yielded a significantly lower percent in the HIV+ group than in the HIV- group. The analysis of the CD8+ subset yielded a higher percent of cells present in semen from HIV+ individuals. The CD8 higher value along with lower CD4 value results in a lower CD4/CD8 ratio in the HIV+ group. Further subset studies showed that the percent of cells expressing naive (CD4+CD45RA+) and memory (CD4+CD45RO+) markers was lower in the HIV+ group. This study provides additional data supporting the utility of flow cytometry and monoclonal antibodies to immunophenotypic cells present in semen ejaculates. It is also the first reported application of the technique to a disease-based model and may be useful to better understand issues of mucosal immunity and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalCommunications in Clinical Cytometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 1996


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Hematology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


  • Flow cytometry
  • HIV
  • HIV transmission
  • Immune subsets
  • STDs
  • Semen

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