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Markers for Phenotyping Human and Mouse Immune Cells

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We understand that the Cell Markers page has many markers for you to examine. For a more simplified approach on phenotypic markers, you can check out the charts below, which lists markers commonly used in literature to identify populations of the given cell types.

There may be other combinations of markers used for these cell types not listed here. Further subset clarification would also require a more expanded set of markers for each cell type. For more in-depth information on your cell of interest, search for reviews or head back to our Cell Markers page.

Once you know what markers you want, you can start building your multicolor flow panel here.

Human
B Cells CD19 
T Cells CD3, CD56(-) 
Activated T Cells CD25, CD69
Dendritic Cells*  CD1c, CD83, CD141, CD209, MHC II
Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells*  CD123, CD303, CD304 
Platelets (resting) CD42b
Platelets (activated) CD62P
Natural Killer Cells CD3(-), CD16, CD56
Hematopoietic Stem Cell CD34, CD90
Macrophage*  CD11b, CD68, CD163
Monocyte*  CD14, CD16, CD64
Plasma Cells CD138
Red Blood Cells CD235a
Neutrophils CD15, CD16, CD49d(-)
Basophils 2D7 antigen, CD117(-), CD123, CD203c, FcεRIα
Eosinophils CD11b, CD193, EMR1, Siglec-8 
   
Mouse
B Cells CD19 
T Cells CD3, CD49b (clone DX5) (-)
Activated T Cells CD25, CD69
Dendritic Cells*  CD11c, MHC II
Platelets (resting)  CD41 
Platelets (activated)  CD62P 
Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells*  CD11cint, CD317 
Natural Killer Cells CD3(-), CD49b (clone DX5)
Hematopoietic Stem Cell CD48, CD117, CD150, Sca-1
Macrophage*  F4/80, CD68 
Monocyte*  CD11bhi, CD115hi, Gr-1lo, Ly-6C 
Plasma Cells CD138 
Red Blood Cells TER-119 
Neutrophils CD11b, CD115(-), Ly-6B.2, Ly-6Clo/neg, Ly6G, Gr-1
Basophils CD200R3, FcεRIα
Eosinophils CD11b, CD193, F4/80, Siglec-F

 *Antigen presenting cell subsets (and other cells here) can express different markers and be challenging to analyze. To learn more about your specific cell type, check out our Areas of Biology section.

This marker’s expression is variable, but is used to further analyze subclasses of this cell type.

Examining CD45 expression and forward and side scatter profiles can help you identify your population of interest. The image below was edited from Im, M. et al.

Along with forward and side scatter (FSC, SSC), CD45 can help you isolate your lymphocyte, monocyte, and granulocyte populations

Human peripheral blood leukocytes (A) after staining with anti-CD45 showing discrete granulocyte (P1), monocyte (P2), and lymphocyte (P3) populations according to the level of CD45 expression. (B) FSC and SSC on the scattergrams.

References:

1. Sunderkötter, C. et al. 2004. J. Immunol. 172:4410. Pubmed (Mouse Monocytes)

2. Murray, P.J. and Wynn, T.A. 2011. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 11:723. Pubmed (Human Macrophages)

3. Zhang, X. et al. 2008. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. Chapter 14:Unit 14.1 Pubmed (Mouse Macrophages)

4. Moore, A.J. and Anderson, M.K. 2013. Adv. Hematol. 2013:949513. Pubmed (Human and Mouse Dendritic Cells)

5. Lee, J.J. et al. 2012. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 130:572. Pubmed (Human and Mouse Eosinophils)

6. Macey, M.G. Flow Cytometry: Principles and Applications. Totowa: Humana Press Inc. 2007. Digital. Link (Human Neutrophils)

7. Kim, H.J. et al. 2010. PLoS One. 5:e11439. Pubmed (Mouse Neutrophils)

8. Maecker, H.T. et al. 2012. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 12:191. Pubmed (General Human Markers)

9. Lai, L. et al. 1998. J. Immunol. 160:3861. Pubmed (General Mouse Markers)