What are the clusters of differentiation nomenclature

The Human Leukocyte Differentiation Antigens (HLDA) Workshops were initiated1 to bring order to the chaos that existed in 1984, as immunologists generated large numbers of monoclonal antibodies reactive with leukocyte cell-surface molecules, each with different associated nomenclatures. This analytical method identified clusters of antibodies with very similar patterns of binding to leukocytes at various stages of differentiation: hence the "cluster of differentiation" (CD) nomenclature. This provided a common nomenclature that allowed the scientific community to communicate results in a universal language. Studies of immunity and diseases of the immune system have been greatly facilitated over the last 30 years by the HLDA Workshops which have used antibodies to characterise many of the molecules involved in immunological processes, and have provided a nomenclature system, the CD system, which is used universally.

Summary of the HLDA Workshops

Workshop Host Time CDs assigned Number of CDs assigned
HLDA 1 Pairs 1982 CD1-w15 15
HLDA 2 Boston 1984 CD16-w26 11
HLDA 3 Oxford 1987 CD27-45 19
HLDA 4 Vienna 1989 CD46-w78 35
HLDA 5 Boston 1993 CD79-w109 62
HLDA 6 Kobe 1996 CD110-166 52
HLDA 7 Harrogate 2000 CD167-247 81
HLDA 8 Adelaide 2004 CD248-339 93
HLDA 9 Barcelona 2010 CD340-364 20
HLDA 10 Wollongong 2014 CD365-371 7