Membrane markers of the immune cells in swine: an update

Vet Res. 2008 Nov-Dec;39(6):54. doi: 10.1051/vetres:2008030. Epub 2008 Jul 19.


Besides their breeding value, swine are increasingly used as biomedical models. As reported in three international swine clusters of differentiation (CD) workshops and in the animal homologue section of the last workshop for the determination of human leukocyte differentiation antigens (HLDA 8), characterisation of leukocyte surface antigens by monoclonal antibodies and other molecular studies have determined the cell lineages and blood leukocyte subsets implicated in the immune response, including cell adhesion molecules involved in cell trafficking. This review focusses on the current state of knowledge of porcine leukocyte differentiation and major histocompatibility complex (SLA) molecules. Examples of porcine particularities such as the double-positive T lymphocytes with the phenotype CD(4+)CD8(low) and CD(4-)CD8(low) alphabeta T cell subsets and the persistence of SLA class II after T-lymphocyte activation are illustrated, as well as the shared characteristics of the Artiodactyla group, such as the high proportion of gammadelta TcR (T cell receptor) T cells in blood and other lymphoid tissues. Furthermore, discrepancies between swine and humans, such as CD16 expression on dendritic cells and CD11b (wCD11R1) tissue distribution are outlined. The rapidly growing information should facilitate manipulation of the swine immune system towards improving disease control, and open new avenues for biomedical research using the pig as a model.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Swine / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Antigens
  • Biomarkers