Comprehensive Phenotyping of Human Dendritic Cells and Monocytes

Cytometry A. 2021 Mar;99(3):231-242. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.24269. Epub 2020 Dec 22.


Professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), which include dendritic cells (DCs) and monocytes are essential for inducing and steering adaptive T-cell responses. Recent technological developments in single-cell analysis have significantly advanced our understanding of APC subset heterogeneity. To accurately resolve this functional diversity and to account for tissue-specific adaptation, novel phenotyping markers have been described more recently. While some of these largely overlap with traditionally used markers, more fine-grained phenotyping might be essential during inflammatory settings, where the traditional distinction between monocytes and dendritic cells has become blurred. Within this phenotype report, we provide a concise overview of traditional and recently described markers for the phenotyping of DCs and monocytes in the human system.

Keywords: dendritic cells; high-dimensional flow cytometry; human immunology; monocytes; mononuclear phagocyte system; phenotyping; professional antigen-presenting cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Dendritic Cells*
  • Humans
  • Monocytes*
  • Phenotype
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes