It has previously been reported by these authors that cluster of differentiation (CD) 93 is co-expressed on naive T-lymphocytes (CD4+CD45RA+ cells) in neonatal umbilical cord blood cells (UCBCs) but not on normal adult peripheral blood cells (PBCs). In this study, expression of CD93 on other lymphocyte subsets and the concentration of soluble formed CD93 (sCD93) in serum or culture supernatants from neonatal umbilical cord blood (UCB) was examined. It was found that CD93 is also co-expressed on CD2+, CD16+, CD56+ or CD25+ cells in the lymphocyte population of neonatal UCBCs, but not on normal adult PBCs. The concentrations of sCD93 in serum and culture supernatants from neonatal UCB were significantly greater than those from normal adult peripheral blood. The concentrations of sCD93 in culture supernatants from neonatal UCBCs and normal adult PBCs treated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) were significantly enhanced compared with those without PMA treatment. The degree of enhancement of sCD93 by PMA in culture supernatants from neonatal UCBCs was significantly greater than that of normal adult PBCs and enhancement of sCD93 by PMA in the culture supernatants from neonatal UCBCs and normal adult PBCs was significantly suppressed by PKC inhibitor. Interestingly, the high concentration of serum sCD93 in neonates was significantly decreased in sera from infants at 1 month after birth. Expression of CD93 on the lymphocyte population of PBCs from infants at 1 month after birth was also significantly decreased, compared with that for neonatal UCBCs. These findings indicate that CD93 in neonatal UCB has unique properties as an immunological biomarker.