CD38 is a 45kDa transmembrane molecule, encoded on chromosome 4. It belongs to a family of proteins which are involved in the production of calcium mobilising compounds. In leukocytes it acts as a receptor in adhesion and signalling pathways1. A ligand for CD38 is the adhesion molecule CD313.

Antibodies are effective on paraffin-embedded tissue2.

Immunohistochemical expression

CD38 has a wider spectrum of B-cell staining than does CD138

Diagnostic utility


1Matutes E. New additions to antibody panels in the characterisation of chronic lymphoproliferative disorders. J Clin Pathol 2002;55:180-183.

2Leong A S-Y, Cooper K and Leong FJ W-M. Manual of diagnostic antibodies for immunohistology. 2nd edition, 2003

3Vallario A, Chilosi M, Adami F et al. Human myeloma cells express the CD38 ligand CD31. British Journal of Haematology 1999;105:441-4.


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