Stains & CD markers

Topic Completed: 1 June 2014

Minor changes: 21 June 2021

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: CD23[title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. CD23. website. Accessed October 21st, 2021.
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

Contributed by Leica Microsystems, Biosystems Division
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Normal tonsil

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Follicular lymphoma

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MALT lymphoma: lung

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
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