Stains & CD markers
CD68



Topic Completed: 1 February 2002

Minor changes: 2 August 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: CD68[title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. CD68. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cdmarkerscd68.html. Accessed September 21st, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Also called KP1, macrosialin
  • May have role in macrophage phagocytic activities
  • Specific to lysosomes, not cell lineage; epithelial cells activated by E. coli may be CD68+ (Toxicol In Vitro 2002;16:405)
  • Binds to tissue and organ specific lectins or selectins, allowing homing of macrophage subsets to particular sites
  • References: OMIM #153634, Am J Clin Pathol 2004;122:794
Uses by pathologists
  • Marker of histiocytes and histiocytic tumors
  • Presence in postportoenterostomy liver biopsies for extrahepatic biliary atresia is associated with favorable prognosis (J Pediatr Surg 2005;40:1252)
  • HAM56 is an older marker that stains histiocytes, endothelium, adenocarcinoma but not osteoclast-like giant cells
  • Mac387 is an older histiocytic marker that also stains squamous mucosa
Microscopic (histologic) images
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Case #32

Atypical epithelioid angiomyolipoma of kidney



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Acute demyelinating disease (fig 9)

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AML-M5 (fig 5b)

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Cholesterol granuloma of temporal bone

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Castleman's disease (Figure 16)

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Crohn's disease


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Crystal storing histiocytosis within lymphoma (fig 9)

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Follicular dendritic cell tumor (fig 13)

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Gaucher's disease (presumptive) in spleen

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HIV associated encephalopathy

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Kikuchi's disease (fig 13)


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Kikuchi-like lymphadenopathy #1 in lupus

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Multiple sclerosis


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Myeloid sarcoma #1-uterus, #2-lymph nodes

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Plasmacytoid monocyte tumor

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Viral myocarditis

Positive staining - normal
Positive staining - tumors
Negative staining
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