Stains & molecular markers
Programmed death-1 (PD-1)

Topic Completed: 1 May 2012

Minor changes: 29 December 2020

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Programmed death-1 [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 3,791
Page views in 2021 to date: 1,190
Cite this page: Pernick N. Programmed death-1 (PD-1). website. Accessed April 19th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Also known as CD279
  • Coinhibitory receptor of lymphocytes / other immune system cells
    • Controls lymphocyte activation by providing negative signals in conjunction with signals from lymphocyte antigen receptors (Future Oncol 2011;7:929)
  • Expressed by germinal center associated helper T cells; inhibits T cell activity (Hum Pathol 2009;40:1715)
  • Expressed by CD8+ T cells, associated with CD8 activation (AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2012;28:465)
  • Has two known ligands: PD-L1 (B7H1; CD274) and PD-L2 (B7DC; CD273)
  • May limit CNS inflammation and neurologic deficits after stroke (Stroke 2011;42:2578)
Uses by pathologists
  • Differentiate primary cutaneous CD4 small / medium sized pleomorphic T cell lymphoma and cutaneous pseudo-T cell lymphomas (PD-1 positive) from other cutaneous T cell lymphomas (usually PD-1 negative, Am J Surg Pathol 2012;36:109)
  • PD-1+ rosettes of T cells around neoplastic cells is relatively specific for nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (Hum Pathol 2009;40:1715)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by GenomeMe:

Tonsil (normal), clone IHC001

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image

Normal tonsil

Missing Image

Bone marrow

Missing Image

Esophageal carcinoma

Missing Image Missing Image

Lymph nodes

Missing Image Missing Image Missing Image

Lymphoma, angioimmunoblastic

Missing Image


Missing Image

Ovarian serous adenocarcinoma

Missing Image

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Positive staining - normal
  • Pro-B cells
  • Germinal center associated helper T cells
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Kikuchi lymphadenitis
  • Castleman disease
  • Reactive follicular hyperplasia are PD-1 negative outside follicles (Am J Surg Pathol 2010;34:178)
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02