Flow cytometric analysis of the expression of murine B and T surface markers from birth to adulthood

Louis E. King, Lorri A. Morford, Joseph P. Gibbons, Pamela J. Fraker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The proportion of nucleated splenocytes bearing B-lymphocyte markers B220, surface IgM (sIgM) and sIgD, as well as the T-lymphocyte markers Thy 1.2, CD5, CD8a and CD4 were quantitated by flow cytometric analysis (FACS) throughout postpartum development in the A/J mouse. Full expression of B lymphocyte markers was achieved much sooner than expression of T lymphocyte markers. This was especially true for B220, which was found on 8% of all splenocytes at day 5 and reached adult levels (47-50%) by weaning at day 22. Expression of sIgM and sIgD were 13% and 9%, respectively, of all splenocytes at day 5 with mature levels not expressed until day 35 postpartum (approximately 36% of cells were positive for these markers). T lymphocyte markers, on the other hand, did not reach full expression until sexual maturity. For example, Thy 1.2 expression was 8% on day 5 and did not reach mature levels (28-30%) until day 56. CD5 closely paralleled Thy 1.2 expression rising from only 2% on day 5 to 27% by day 56. Likewise, CD8a and CD4 marker development paralleled one another with CD8a rising from 1% on day 5 to 10% by day 56 and CD4 rising from 5% on day 5 to 19% by day 56. These data demonstrate the variability in the time of appearance and rate of maturation of the various lymphocyte cell surface markers during postpartum development. They also serve as a reference to identify alterations in lymphocyte development created by immunodeficiency diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Human Nutrition Grant from the USDA No. 86-CRCR-1-1923 and a grant from the American Institute for Cancer Research.


  • A/J mouse
  • B cell phenotype
  • FACS
  • Ontogeny
  • Splenic surface marker development
  • T cell phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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