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Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM-1) also known as cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the PECAM1 gene found on chromosome 17.[1][2][3][4] PECAM-1 plays a key role in removing aged neutrophils from the body.


PECAM-1 is found on the surface of platelets, monocytes, neutrophils, and some types of T-cells, and makes up a large portion of endothelial cell intercellular junctions. The encoded protein is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily and is likely involved in leukocyte transmigration, angiogenesis, and integrin activation.[1]

Tissue distribution

CD31 is normally found on endothelial cells, platelets, macrophages and Kupffer cells, granulocytes, lymphocytes (T cells, B cells, and NK cells), megakaryocytes, and osteoclasts.

CD31 is also expressed in certain tumors, including epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, epithelioid sarcoma-like hemangioendothelioma, other vascular tumors, histiocytic malignancies, and plasmacytomas. It is rarely found in some sarcomas, such as Kaposi's sarcoma,[5][6] and carcinomas.


File:Epithelioid angiosarcoma - CD31 - intermed mag.jpg
Micrograph of an angiosarcoma stained with a CD31 immunostain (dark brown).

In immunohistochemistry, CD31 is used primarily to demonstrate the presence of endothelial cells in histological tissue sections. This can help to evaluate the degree of tumor angiogenesis, which can imply a rapidly growing tumor. Malignant endothelial cells also commonly retain the antigen, so that CD31 immunohistochemistry can also be used to demonstrate both angiomas and angiosarcomas. It can also be demonstrated in small lymphocytic and lymphoblastic lymphomas, although more specific markers are available for these conditions.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Entrez Gene: platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule".
  2. Newman PJ, Berndt MC, Gorski J, White GC, Lyman S, Paddock C, Muller WA (March 1990). "PECAM-1 (CD31) cloning and relation to adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily". Science. 247 (4947): 1219–22. doi:10.1126/science.1690453. PMID 1690453.
  3. Gumina RJ, Kirschbaum NE, Rao PN, vanTuinen P, Newman PJ (June 1996). "The human PECAM1 gene maps to 17q23". Genomics. 34 (2): 229–32. doi:10.1006/geno.1996.0272. PMID 8661055.
  4. Xie Y, Muller WA (October 1996). "Fluorescence in situ hybridization mapping of the mouse platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM1) to mouse chromosome 6, region F3-G1". Genomics. 37 (2): 226–8. doi:10.1006/geno.1996.0546. PMID 8921400.
  5. Ganjei-Azar, Parvin (2007). Color Atlas of Immunocytochemistry in Diagnostic Cytology. [New York]: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. p. 47. ISBN 978-0387-32121-9.
  6. Paolo Gattuso, ed. (2010). Differential diagnosis in surgical pathology (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-4160-4580-9.
  7. Leong, Anthony S-Y; Cooper, Kumarason; Leong, F Joel W-M (2003). Manual of Diagnostic Cytology (2 ed.). Greenwich Medical Media, Ltd. p. 103. ISBN 1-84110-100-1.

Further reading

External links