Human Seminal Plasma Fosters CD4+ Regulatory T-cell Phenotype and Transforming Growth Factor-β1 Expression

Emmanuel Balandya, Wendy Wieland-Alter, Katherine Sanders, Timothy Lahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Problem: Semen mediates expansion of CD4+ regulatory T cells (Treg) in the murine female reproductive tract. The impact of semen on Treg in humans, however, remains unclear. Method of Study: Using seminal plasma (SP) from 20 healthy donors, we investigated the impact of human semen on CD4+ T-cell expression of CD127 and CD49d as well as CD4+ CD127low CD49dlow Treg proliferation, apoptosis, and intracellular expression of FoxP3, TGF-β1, and IL-10. Results: SP reduced CD4+ T-cell expression of CD127 and CD49d and increased the proportion of CD127low CD49dlow Treg. This increase was non-proliferative, mediated in part via the conversion of CD4+ helper T cells into FoxP3- but not FoxP3+ Treg. Additionally, SP induced an increase in intracellular expression of the immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-β1 by the FoxP3- but not FoxP3+ Treg. SP had no impact on Treg intracellular expression of IL-10. Conclusion: Human seminal plasma fosters the non-proliferative increase in the proportion and immunoregulatory activity of FoxP3- Treg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-330
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • FoxP3
  • Seminal plasma
  • TGF-β
  • Treg

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