Stains & CD markers

Topic Completed: 1 April 2013

Minor changes: 2 July 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: HLA-DR [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 4,167
Page views in 2021 to date: 2,550
Cite this page: Pernick N. HLA-DR. website. Accessed October 21st, 2021.
Definition / general
  • HLA-DR is a MHC (major histocompatibility complex) class II cell surface receptor encoded by human leukocyte antigen complex on 6p21.31 (Wikipedia: HLA-DR [Accessed 3 August 2018])
  • Antigen presenting cells use HLA-DR molecules to present protein fragments (processed antigen) to T cells, a key event in induction of T cell responses (PLoS One 2012;7:e31483)
  • Also called HLA-DR (Ia)
Clinical features
Diagrams / tables

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DR with bound ligand

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DR receptor

Microscopic (histologic) images

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Cervix, squamous cell carc, FA

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Diffuse large B cell lymphoma

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Skin, atopic eczema lesions

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Skin scar

Positive staining - normal
  • Basophils (immature), osteoblasts
  • Antigen presenting cells (B cells, dendritic cells, macrophages, monocytes)
  • Precursor T cells and CD4+ T cells
  • Liver, bile ductules
  • Thymus
Positive staining - disease
  • AML: M0-M6 (some variability)
    • Also AML with myelodysplastic related changes, recurrent genetic abnormalities
    • Acute basophilic leukemia, acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis, transient myeloproliferative disorder of Down syndrome (80%)
  • Breast: medullary carcinoma
  • Esophagus: Crohn's disease
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Lymphomas:
    • Adult T cell leukemia / lymphoma (HTLV1+, frequent)
    • B-ALL
    • Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm
    • Extranodal NK / T cell lymphoma nasal type
    • Primary effusion
    • SLL / CLL
  • Thyroid: Graves disease (thyrocytes and lymphocytes)
Negative staining
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