Identifying General Cell Types Associated With Surface Markers

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Introduction to Flow Cytometry: Blood Cell Identification. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Introduction to Flow Cytometry: Blood Cell Identification (online CE course)
Identifying General Cell Types Associated With Surface Markers

The following basic associations can be made between certain surface markers and cell types. Please note that only the most basic associated cell types are addressed as this is an introductory flow cytometry course.
A PDF file of this table is also available on this page and can be printed to use as a reference for case studies presented later in this course.
Surface Marker Associated Cell Type
CD2Pan (across all) T cells; natural killer cells
CD3Pan T cells
CD4T-helper cells
CD5Pan T cells and B cell abnormalities (e.g., B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B CLL) and mantle cells)
CD7Pan T cells (earliest marker)
CD8T-cytotoxic cells
CD10 also known as common acute lymphocytic leukemia antigen (CALLA)Early T and B cells, mature follicular cells
CD19Pan B cells (earliest marker)
HLA-DRB cells (also present on activated T cells)
CD20B cells
CD23B cells (present in B CLL and not present in mantle cells)
Kappa or Lambda light chain immunoglobulin (not antigen)
B cells --A mature B cell should express either one or the other and, across a B-cell population, there should be a good mix of both Kappa and Lambda. The normal kappa: lambda ratio is approximately 2:1. In a clonal (cancerous) population, one cell line will proliferate and that line will exhibit one of these light chains. This will indicate clonality.
CD45 also known as the leukocyte common antigenPan white blood cells (May vary in staining intensity between mature and immature white blood cells).