T lymphocytes

T Lymphocytes

T lymphocytes, are part of the adaptive immune system and play a central role in reproductive immunology1. T cells can be separated into three major groups based on their function: cytotoxic T cells (CTLs), T helper cells (TH), and regulatory T cells (TREGs). Differential expression of cell surface markers and cytokine secretion profiles provide valuable information about the phenotype and functional behavior of T cells during pregnancy, in which T cells help regulate the fine balance between host defense and maternal-fetal tolerance.

The several subsets of T cells each possess a distinct set of functions. CD8+ CTLs destroy infected target cells through the release of perforin and granzymes and are implicated in transplant rejection. CD4+ TH cells have little cytotoxic activity but secrete different cytokines to facilitate other leukocytes such as B cells, macrophages, and neutrophils in the immune response against pathogens (e.g. viruses, allergies, bacteria and fungi). Three distinct CD4+ TH cell subsets can be defined based on their expression of transcription factors, signature cytokines, and cell surface markers. TH1 cells are identified by T-bet, IFNγ, CXCR3 and CCR5; TH2 cells are identified by GATA-3, IL-4 and CCR4; and TH17 cells are identified by RORγt, IL-17 and CCR6. Finally, TREGs are crucial for the maintenance of immunological tolerance. They are defined by the expression of the transcription factor FoxP3, cytokine IL-10 and TFG-β, and high expression levels of the IL-2 receptor, CD25. IQ Products can help your research with antibodies against several of these markers, which are highlighted in the table below.

T cells are an important cell population within the decidua over the course of pregnancy2, 3. This T cell population comprises of specialized decidual T cells in addition to the above mentioned subsets. The majority of decidual T cells represent antigen experienced effector T cells (CD45RA or CD45RO+)4, 5. Decidual T cells differ from peripheral T cells by the expression of activation markers such as CD69, HLA-DR, and CD256. Furthermore, in the uterine environment, there is an inverse CD4/CD8 ratio and an altered distribution of TH1, TH2, and TH17 cells compared to the peripheral blood5, 7. In addition, during pregnancy TREG cells are enriched at the maternal-fetal interface and important for maintaining fetal tolerance and suppressing decidual T cell effector responses. Imbalances of the TH1, TH2, TH17, and TREG cell distributions are associated with pregnancy complications such as, preterm birth (PTB)8, pre-eclampsia (PE)9, and (unexplained) recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL)10. Therefore, a tight immune regulation of CD4+ TH cells (i.e. TH1, TH2, and TH17), TREGs, and CTLs is paramount for a successful pregnancy outcome.

To support the use of flow cytometry for studying the complexity of immune cells during pregnancy, IQ Products offers various important cell surface markers, cytokines, and stimulation reagents to identify and stimulate T cells, highlighted in the table below. Are you interested in other markers, different fluorochromes or need help creating a panel for your research purpose? Contact us at techsupport@iqproducts.nl


Human T Cell markers (general, naive and memory T cells)
Item Clone Pure FITC R-PE CyQ APC PerCP PerCP-Cy5.5
CD3 UCHT1 IQP-519P IQP-519F IQP-519R IQP-519C IQP-519A IQP-519PC IQP-519PCC
CD4 Edu-2 IQP-535P IQP-535F IQP-535R IQP-535C IQP-535A IQP-535PC IQP-535PCC
CD8 MCD8 IQP-104P IQP-104F IQP-104R IQP-104C IQP-104A IQP-104PC
CD28 CD28.2 IQP-639P IQP-639F IQP-639R IQP-639A IQP-639PC
CD45 ML2 IQP-124P IQP-124F IQP-124R IQP-124C IQP-124A IQP-124PC IQP-124PCC
CD45RA MB1 IQP-123P IQP-123F IQP-123R
T cell activation markers
Item Clone Pure FITC R-PE CyQ APC PerCP PerCP-Cy5.5
CD25 B-B10 IQP-125P IQP-125F IQP-125R
CD69 FN50 IQP-553P IQP-553F IQP-553R IQP-553A IQP-553PC
Anti-HLA-DR BRA30 IQP-134P IQP-134F IQP-134R IQP-134C
TH1 markers, chemokines receptors and cytokines
Item Clone Pure FITC R-PE CyQ APC PerCP PerCP-Cy5.5
CD195 (CCR5) T21/8 IQP-648P IQP-648R IQP-648A
IL-2 N7-48A IQP-161P IQP-161R
IFN-gamma 45-14 IQP-160P IQP-160F IQP-160R IQP-160A
TH2 markers, chemokines receptors and cytokines
Item Clone Pure FITC R-PE CyQ APC PerCP PerCP-Cy5.5
CD193 (CCR3) 5E8 IQP-647P IQP-647F IQP-647R IQP-647A
IL-4 8F-12 IQP-162P IQP-162R
IL-13 B-B13 IQP-166P IQP-166R
TH17 markers, chemokines receptors and cytokines
Item Clone Pure FITC R-PE CyQ APC PerCP PerCP-Cy5.5
CD161 HP-3G10 IQP-646P IQP-646R IQP-646A
TREG markers
Item Clone Pure FITC R-PE CyQ APC PerCP PerCP-Cy5.5
CD25 B-B10 IQP-125P IQP-125F IQP-125R
IL-10 B-S10 IQP-175P IQP-175F IQP-175R
FoxP3 3G3 IQP-651P IQP-651R IQP-651A


Item Clone Pure FITC R-PE CyQ APC
IFN-gamma 45-14 IQP-160P IQP-160F IQP-160R IQP-160A
IL-1beta B-A15 IQP-167P IQP-167R
IL-2 N7-48A IQP-161P IQP-161R
IL-4 8F-12 IQP-162P IQP-162R
IL-6 B-E8 IQP-164P IQP-164R
IL-10 B-S10 IQP-175P IQP-175F IQP-175R
IL-12 B-P24 IQP-168P IQP-168R
IL-13 B-B13 IQP-166P IQP-166R
TGF-beta TB21 IQP-169P IQP-169R
TNF-alpha B-C7 IQP-163P IQP-163R
Stimulation reagents
Item Description Size Product code
Cytodetect™ kit Kit with stimulation, fixation and permeabilization reagents 50 tests IQP-366


  • Nancy, P., et al. T cell behavior at the maternal-fetal interface. The International journal of developmental biology 58, 189–198, doi:10.1387/ijdb.140054ae (2014).
  • Tilburgs, T., et al. Expression of NK cell receptors on decidual T cells in human pregnancy. Journal of reproductive immunology 80,22–32, doi:10.1016/j.jri.2009.02.004 (2009).
  • Williams, P. J., et al. 2009. Decidual leucocyte populations in early to late gestation normal human pregnancy. J. Reprod. Immunol. 82: 24–31.
  • Saito, S., et al. (1994). A study of CD45RO, CD45RA and CD29 antigen expression on human decidual T cells in an early stage of pregnancy. Immunol Lett 40: 193-197.
  • Tilburgs, T., et al. (2010b). Human decidual tissue contains differentiated CD8+ effector-memory T cells with unique properties. J Immunol 185: 4470-4477.
  • Saito, S., et al. Expression of activation antigens CD69, HLA-DR, interleukin-2 receptor-alpha (IL-2R alpha) and IL-2R beta on T Cells of human decidua at an early stage of pregnancy. Immunology 75, 710–712 (1992).
  • Feyaerts D., et al. Human uterine lymphocytes acquire a more experienced and tolerogenic phenotype during pregnancy. Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1):p. 2884. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03191-0.
  • Koucky M., et al. Low levels of circulating T-regulatory lymphocytes and short cervical length are associated with preterm labor. J Reprod Immunol 2014; 106:110–7. 22
  • Vargas-Rojas M.I., et al. Th1, Th2, Th17 and Treg levels in umbilical cord blood in preeclampsia. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2015; 29:1642–5.
  • Wang W.J., et al. Increased prevalence of T helper 17 (Th17) cells in peripheral blood and decidua in unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion patients. J Reprod Immunol 2010; 84:164–70.


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