CD Markers

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 21 December 2015, last major update June 2014

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: CD23[title]

Cite this page: CD23. website. Accessed February 24th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Key molecule for B cell activation and growth
  • References: OMIM #151445
  • Also known as low affinity IgE receptor, Fc fragment of IgE receptor and FCER
  • A type C lectin that can be secreted
  • After physiologic germinal cell development, the follicular dendritic cell meshwork expands and follicular dendritic cells in the light zone of the germinal center become CD23 positive
  • CD23 acts as a B cell growth and activation factor, promoting differentiation into plasma cells
  • Shows variability in flow cytometry expression between specimens from same patient (Am J Clin Pathol 2002;117:615)
  • CD21, CD23 and CD35 are dendritic cell markers
  • Interactions with IgE:
Clinical features
Uses by pathologists
  • CD21, CD23 and CD35 are dendritic cell markers
  • Differentiate SLL/CLL (CD23+) vs. mantle cell lymphoma or MALT lymphoma (CD23-)
  • B cell marker, particularly for SLL/CLL, mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (Mod Pathol 2012;25:1637) and lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma
  • Distinguish nodal marginal zone lymphoma from follicular lymphoma by identifying a disrupted follicular dendritic cell pattern (Int J Surg Pathol 2005;13:73)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on Pathout server:

Normal tonsil (contributed by Leica Microsystems, Biosystems Division)

Follicular lymphoma (contributed by Leica Microsystems, Biosystems Division)

Images hosted on other servers:


Follicular dendritic cell tumor: lung (fig 3A) and spine (fig 3B)

MALT lymphoma: lung

Primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (fig c)

Various images

Positive staining - normal
  • Activated mature B cells expressing IgM or IgD (particularly mantle cells), activated monocytes / macrophages, T cell subsets, platelets, eosinophils, Langerhans cells, follicular dendritic cells and intestinal epithelium (encodes IgE receptor, Gastroenterology 2005;129:928)
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining