Changes in immunological and virological parameters in HIV-1 infected subjects following leukapheresis

M. R. Boulassel, G. Spurll, D. Rouleau, C. Tremblay, M. Edwardes, R. P. Sekaly, R. Lalonde, Jean Pierre Routy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In order to assess immune responses during HIV-1 therapeutic immunization, a large number of blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) are needed. Clinical tolerance and safety, as well as changes in immunological and virological parameters, were assessed, following leukapheresis in HIV-1 infected subjects with CD4+ cell count > 200 × 106/1. PBMC were collected using a Fenwal CS3000 cell separator in 29 subjects with mean CD4+ cell counts of 503 × 106/1 (range 172-1,119) and viral load of 2.5 log10 copies/ml (range < 1.7-5.4). Twenty-four (83%) subjects were on antiretroviral therapy while 5 (17%) were untreated. The blood volume processed was 7 L over a period of 3 hours. A mean value (± standard error) of 82 ± 26 × 109/1 lymphocytes was collected by a single apheresis in a mean volume of 200 ± 1.8 ml, containing 9.0 ± 1.3 × 109/1 CD4+ and 10.2 ± 1.3 × 109/1 CD8+ cells. The leukapheresis procedures were well tolerated and no immediate or delayed side effects were observed within 90 days of follow-up. No changes from blood pre-leukapheresis values were detected for white blood cells, lymphocytes, monocytes, CD8+, CD34+, naive and memory CD4+ cell counts immediately after, 1 h, 7 days, or within 90 days after leukapheresis. However, absolute CD4+ cell counts and percentage significantly increased from pre-leukapheresis values after 1 h (530 ± 43 vs. 700 ± 75 cell × 106/1; 32.6 ± 1.6 vs. 36.9 ± 1.9%; P < 0.001 for both paired t-tests) before returning to pre-leukapheresis levels on day 7. No significant changes in viral load from pre-leukapheresis levels in treated or untreated subjects were detected at any time points. We conclude that leukapheresis in HIV-1 infected subjects with CD4+ cell counts > 200 × 106/1 is safe and induces a transient increase in the absolute and percentage of CD4+ cell count without enhancing viral replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Apheresis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • CD4 cell counts
  • HIV-1 infection
  • Leukapheresis
  • Lymphocytes
  • Viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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