Influence of HIV-1 infection and cigarette smoking on leukocyte profiles in homosexual Men

Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction between the effects of HIV-1 infection and cigarette smoking on leukocyte profiles was studied in 307 HIV-1 seroconverters in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Longitudinal data for white blood cell (WBC) counts, WBC differentials, T cell subsets, and smoking behavior were collected semiannually for up to 7 years. Prior to seroconversion, total WBC count increased in direct proportion to daily cigarette consumption, but this effect disappeared within 3 years of seroconversion. Analyses of WBC subsets (lymphocytes, monocytes, and granulocytes) and lymphocyte subsets (CD4+, CD8+ and non-T [CD3) showed that smoking had only minor effects on the proportions of these cells. In contrast, HIV-1 seroconversion was associated with a dramatic decrease in CD4+ lymphocyte percentage, a large increase in CD8+ lymphocyte percentage, a small increase in total lymphocyte percentage, and small decreases in the non-T lymphocyte and granulocyte percentages. These findings indicate that the effect of smoking on CD4 cell counts is (a) nonspecific, (b) maximal in seronegative individuals; and (c) lost by 3 years after seroconversion. Although the mechanism of the loss of smoking-induced leukocytosis after seroconversion remains to be determined, our results suggest that the effects of smoking are not likely to be important in the clinical use of leukocyte measurements, including measurements of CD4 lymphocytes, in individuals who have been HIV-1 seropositive for more than 3 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1130
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Cigarette smoking
  • HIV-1
  • Seroconversion
  • White blood cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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