Local synthesis of IgG antibodies to HIV within the female and male genital tracts during asymptomatic and pre-AIDS stages of HIV infection

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1995 Jun;11(6):719-29. doi: 10.1089/aid.1995.11.719.


Paired sera and cervicovaginal secretions or seminal fluids, obtained from HIV-1-infected, clinically asymptomatic women (n = 41) and men (n = 12), were investigated in order to test the hypothesis of a local synthesis of IgG to HIV in the female and male reproductive tracts. Anti-gp41 + p24 IgG was evaluated by an IgG immunocapture assay, and anti-gp160 IgG by an indirect ELISA. Estimation of anti-HIV IgG-specific activities was carried out after ponderal determination of total IgG and evaluation of anti-HIV IgG activity. IgG to gp41 + p24, as well as IgG to gp160, were specifically detected in all sera, cervicovaginal secretions, and seminal fluid samples from all tested HIV-1-infected subjects. The mean specific activities of IgG to gp41 + p24 in cervicovaginal secretions and in seminal fluids were about 33-fold (in women) and 16-fold (in men) that of the corresponding sera; similarly, the mean specific activities of IgG to gp160 in genital secretions were about 17-fold (in women) and 10-fold (in men) that of the corresponding sera. IgGs to HIV are constantly detected in genital secretions from HIV-1-infected subjects, and appear to be largely synthesized in situ within the genital tract of both genders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Cervix Uteri / immunology
  • Cervix Uteri / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Gene Products, env / immunology
  • Genitalia / immunology*
  • HIV Antibodies / analysis
  • HIV Antibodies / biosynthesis*
  • HIV Antibodies / blood
  • HIV Core Protein p24 / immunology
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp41 / immunology
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Precursors / immunology
  • Semen / immunology
  • Vagina / immunology
  • Vagina / metabolism


  • Gene Products, env
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Core Protein p24
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp41
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Protein Precursors