Essential Markers

We understand that the Cell Markers page has many markers for you to examine. For a more simplified approach on phenotypic markers, you can check out the charts below, which lists markers commonly used in literature to identify populations of the given cell types. There may be other combinations of markers used for these cell types not listed here. Further subset clarification would also require a more expanded set of markers for each cell type. For more in-depth information on your cell of interest, search for reviews or head back to our Cell Markers page.

Once you know what markers you want, you can start building your multicolor flow panel here.

B CellsCD19 
T CellsCD3, CD56(-) 
Activated T CellsCD25, CD69
Dendritic Cells* CD1c, CD83, CD141, CD209, MHC II
Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells* CD123, CD303, CD304 
Platelets (resting)CD42b
Platelets (activated)CD62P
Natural Killer CellsCD3(-), CD16, CD56
Hematopoietic Stem CellCD34, CD90
Macrophage* CD11b, CD68, CD163
Monocyte* CD14, CD16, CD64
Plasma CellsCD138
Red Blood CellsCD235a
NeutrophilsCD15, CD16, CD49d(-)
Basophils2D7 antigen, CD117(-), CD123, CD203c, FcεRIα
EosinophilsCD11b, CD193, EMR1, Siglec-8 
B CellsCD19 
T CellsCD3, CD49b (clone DX5) (-)
Activated T CellsCD25, CD69
Dendritic Cells* CD11c, MHC II
Platelets (resting) CD41 
Platelets (activated) CD62P 
Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells* CD11cint, CD317 
Natural Killer CellsCD3(-), CD49b (clone DX5)
Hematopoietic Stem CellCD48, CD117, CD150, Sca-1
Macrophage* F4/80, CD68 
Monocyte* CD11bhi, CD115hi, Gr-1lo, Ly-6C 
Plasma CellsCD138 
Red Blood CellsTER-119 
NeutrophilsCD11b, CD115(-), Ly-6B.2, Ly-6Clo/neg, Ly6G, Gr-1
BasophilsCD200R3, FcεRIα
EosinophilsCD11b, CD193, F4/80, Siglec-F

 *Antigen presenting cell subsets (and other cells here) can express different markers and be challenging to analyze. To learn more about your specific cell type, check out our Areas of Biology section.

This marker’s expression is variable, but is used to further analyze subclasses of this cell type.

Examining CD45 expression and forward and side scatter profiles can help you identify your population of interest. The image below was edited from Im, M. et al.

Along with forward and side scatter (FSC, SSC), CD45 can help you isolate your lymphocyte, monocyte, and granulocyte populations

Human peripheral blood leukocytes (A) after staining with anti-CD45 showing discrete granulocyte (P1), monocyte (P2), and lymphocyte (P3) populations according to the level of CD45 expression. (B) FSC and SSC on the scattergrams.



1. Sunderkötter, C. et al. 2004. J. Immunol. 172:4410. Pubmed (Mouse Monocytes)

2. Murray, P.J. and Wynn, T.A. 2011. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 11:723. Pubmed (Human Macrophages)

3. Zhang, X. et al. 2008. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. Chapter 14:Unit 14.1 Pubmed (Mouse Macrophages)

4. Moore, A.J. and Anderson, M.K. 2013. Adv. Hematol. 2013:949513. Pubmed (Human and Mouse Dendritic Cells)

5. Lee, J.J. et al. 2012. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 130:572. Pubmed (Human and Mouse Eosinophils)

6. Macey, M.G. Flow Cytometry: Principles and Applications. Totowa: Humana Press Inc. 2007. Digital. Link (Human Neutrophils)

7. Kim, H.J. et al. 2010. PLoS One. 5:e11439. Pubmed (Mouse Neutrophils)

8. Maecker, H.T. et al. 2012. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 12:191. Pubmed (General Human Markers)

9. Lai, L. et al. 1998. J. Immunol. 160:3861. Pubmed (General Mouse Markers)

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