Open Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 39, Number 6, November-December 2008
Number of page(s) 28
Published online 19 July 2008
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2008) 39:54
How to cite this article: Vet. Res. (2008) 39:54
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2008030


Membrane markers of the immune cells in swine: an update

Laurence Piriou-Guzylack1 and Henri Salmon2

1  Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis, CH-3147 Mittelhäusern, Switzerland
2  Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, INRA, UR1282, Infectiologie Animale et Santé Publique (IASP), Equipe Lymphocyte et Immunité des Muqueuses, Nouzilly, F-37380, France

Received 6 February 2008; accepted 16 July 2008; published online 19 July 2008

Abstract - 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 CD4+CD8$^{\rm low}$ and CD4-CD8$^{\rm low}$ $\alpha\beta$ 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 $\gamma\delta$ 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.

Key words: cluster of differentiation (CD) / monoclonal antibody / immune system / histocompatibility system / pig

Corresponding author:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008