HIV-1 Imposes Rigidity on Blood and Semen Cytokine Networks

Andrea Lisco, Andrea Introini, Arshi Munawwar, Christophe Vanpouille, Jean Charles Grivel, Paul Blank, Sarman Singh, Leonid Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: Although it is established that the levels of individual cytokines are altered by HIV-1 infection, the changes in cytokine interrelations that organize them into networks have been poorly studied. Here, we evaluated these networks in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals in fluid compartments that are critical for HIV-1 pathogenesis and transmission, namely blood and semen. Method of Study: In samples collected from therapy-naïve HIV-1-infected and HIV-1-uninfected individuals, we measured HIV-1-load, CD4 cell count, and levels of 21 cytokines using a multiplex bead assay. Results: Cytokine networks in blood and semen were different for HIV-1-infected and HIV-1-uninfected individuals. In both compartments of HIV-1-infected individuals, the cytokine networks were more interlocked than in controls: HIV-1 infection resulted in the establishment of new correlations and in the strengthening of pre-existing correlations between different cytokines. In blood and semen of HIV-infected patients, there were, respectively, 68 and 72 statistically significant correlations between cytokines, while in uninfected individuals, there were 18 and 21 such correlations. Conclusion: HIV-1 infection reorganizes the cytokine networks, establishing new strong correlations between various cytokines and thus imposes a high rigidity on the cytokine network. This rigidity may reflect the impairment of the ability of the immune system to respond to microbial challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-521
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012



  • Cytokines
  • HIV-1
  • Network
  • Semen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Cite this

Lisco, A., Introini, A., Munawwar, A., Vanpouille, C., Grivel, J. C., Blank, P., Singh, S., & Margolis, L. (2012). HIV-1 Imposes Rigidity on Blood and Semen Cytokine Networks. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 68(6), 515-521.