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J Immunol. 2015 Nov 15;195(10):4555-63. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1502033.

CD Nomenclature 2015: Human Leukocyte Differentiation Antigen Workshops as a Driving Force in Immunology.

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Immunology Unit, Department of Cell Biology, Immunology, and Neurosciences, Medical School, University of Barcelona, Barcelona 08036, Spain;
INSERM, Paris 75014, France;
BD Biosciences, San Jose, CA 95131;
INSERM U976, Hospital Saint Louis, University of Paris, Paris 75010, France;
Clinical and Experimental Onco-Hematology Unit, Oncological Referral Center, Aviano 33081, Italy;
Institute of Molecular Genetics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague 142 20, Czech Republic;
Department of Immunology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China;
Laboratory of Immunogenetics and Center for Experimental Research and Medical Studies, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin 10126, Italy;
R&D Systems, Bio-Techne Corporation, Minneapolis, MN 55413;
Tumor Immunology Program, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg 69120, Germany;
Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology, Centre for Pathophysiology, Infectiology, and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria;
Department of Immunology, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia;
Child Health Research Institute and University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5000, Australia; and.
Dendritic Cell Research, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney 2139, Australia.


CD (cluster of differentiation) Ags are cell surface molecules expressed on leukocytes and other cells relevant for the immune system. CD nomenclature 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 CD nomenclature, 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.

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