The CD57 glycoprotein, also known as HNK-1, has a molecular weight of 110 kD. It is found on a subset of mononuclear cells with natural killer activity and on neuroectodermal cells expressing myelin-associated glycoprotein. Many cells which co-express CD57 and CD8 proteins are a subset of suppressor/cytotoxic T cells. These cells play a role in the rejection of grafts in acute graft versus host disease. The CD57 molecule is not expressed on erythrocytes or platelets.
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Enzyme pretreatment may enhance staining in some cases.
CD57 is recommended for the detection of specific antigens of interest in normal and neoplastic tissues, as an adjunct to conventional histopathology using non-immunologic histochemical stains.