CD nomenclature 2015: Human leukocyte differentiation antigen workshops as a driving force in immunology

Pablo Engel*, Laurence Boumsell, Robert Balderas, Armand Bensussan, Valter Gattei, Vaclav Horejsi, Bo Quan Jin, Fabio Malavasi, Frank Mortari, Reinhard Schwartz-Albiez, Hannes Stockinger, Menno C. Van Zelm, Heddy Zola, Georgina Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


CD(cluster of differentiation) Ags are cell surfacemolecules expressed on leukocytes and other cells relevant for the immune system. CDnomenclature has been universally adopted by the scientific community and is officially approved by the International Union of Immunological Societies and sanctioned by the World Health Organization. It provides a unified designation system for mAbs, as well as for the cell surface molecules that they recognize. This nomenclature was established by the Human Leukocyte Differentiation Antigens Workshops. In addition to defining the CDnomenclature, these workshops have been instrumental in identifying and determining the expression and function of cell surface molecules. Over the past 30 y, the data generated by the 10 Human Leukocyte Differentiation Antigens Workshops have led to the characterization and formal designation of more than 400 molecules. CD molecules are commonly used as cell markers, allowing the identification and isolation of leukocyte populations, subsets, and differentiation stages. mAbs against these molecules have proven to be essential for biomedical research and diagnosis, as well as in biotechnology. More recently, they have been recognized as invaluable tools for the treatment of several malignancies and autoimmune diseases. In this article, we describe how the CD nomenclature was established, present the official updated list of CD molecules, and provide a rationale for their usefulness in the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4555-4563
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


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