CD30 expression on normal cells

CD30 has limited expression in healthy tissue or on resting lymphocytes.1,2 In nonpathologic conditions, CD30 expression is generally restricted to activated B and T lymphocytes and NK cells, with lower levels in activated monocytes and eosinophils. In addition, CD30 is found on a small percentage of CD8-positive T cells.3,4 This antigen is generally not detected on healthy tissue or resting lymphocytes.2

CD30-expressing activated lymphocytes represent <1% of circulating cells.1 Histologic examination revealed CD30 expression in a rare population of large lymphoid cells in lymph node, tonsil, thymus and endometrial cells with decidual changes.4,5 In summary, CD30 expression is mainly restricted to activated lymphocytes in the hematopoietic tissue and is rarely expressed on normal cells outside the immune system.4,6


  1. Stein H, Mason DY, Gerdes J, et al. The expression of the Hodgkin’s disease associated antigen Ki-1 in reactive and neoplastic lymphoid tissue: evidence that Reed-Sternberg cells and histiocytic malignancies are derived from activated lymphoid cells. Blood. 1985;66(4):848-858.
  2. Falini B, Pileri S, Pizzolo G, et al. CD30 (Ki-1) molecule: a new cytokine receptor of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily as a tool for diagnosis and immunotherapy. Blood. 1995;85(1):1-14.
  3. Agrawal B, Reddish M, Longenecker BM. CD30 expression on human CD8+ T cells isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes of normal donors. J Immunol. 1996;157(8):3229-3234.
  4. Oflazoglu E, Grewal IS, Gerber H. Targeting CD30/CD30L in oncology and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In: Grewal IS, ed. Therapeutic Targets of the TNF Superfamily. In: Back N, Cohen IR, Lajtha A, Lambris JD, Paoletti R, eds. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Vol 647. New York, NY: Springer; 2009:174-185.
  5. Dürkop H, Foss H-D, Eitelbach F, et al. Expression of the CD30 antigen in non-lymphoid tissues and cells. J Pathol. 2000;190(5):613-618.
  6. Gerber H-P. Emerging immunotherapies targeting CD30 in Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Biochem Pharmacol. 2010;79(11):1544-1552.