Standard CD44 (Figure 1) is a ubiquitous molecule expressed on many types of cells of lymphohemato-poietic origin, including erythrocytes, T and B lymphocytes, natural killer cells, macrophages, Kupffer cells, dendritic cells and granulocytes. However, CD44s is also expressed on other cells, such as fibroblasts and cells of the central nervous system. After immunologic activation, T lymphocytes and other leukocytes transiently upregulate CD44v, particularly those containing V6 exon products. A CD44 variant, expressing exons V8 to VI0 (CD44V8-10, also known as epithelial CD44 or CD44E), is preferentially expressed on epithelial cells. The longest CD44 isoform, CD44V3-10, was detected in keratinocytes (Figure lc).

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