A System for Monocytic Differentiation of Leukemic Cells HL 60 by a Short Exposure to 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol

George P. Studzinski, Amarjit K. Bhandal, Zamir S. Brelvi

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58 Scopus citations


The human promyelocytic cell line HL 60 can be induced to differentiate toward more mature myeloid or monocytic forms by a variety of agents. This process is thought to require several days of exposure to the inducer, thus making it difficult to identify the early cellular changes which are fundamental to the differentiation program, and to relate the induction to phases of the cell cycle. In order to study the kinetics of leukemic cell differentiation we have developed a system for the induction of rapid monocytic maturation in a subpopulation of HL 60 cells. The cells are exposed to 10-7 M 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol for 4 hr in serum-free medium. Subsequent incubation in a complete medium results in cellular differentiation recognizable by several criteria (phagocytosis, nonspecific esterase reaction, adherence to substratum, cell morphology) beginning at 10 hr from the exposure to the inducer. Approximately 20 hr later 30-40% of the cells in culture show the differentiated phenotype and are capable of phagocytosis. The proportion of differentiated cells in culture decreases thereafter. This system has been utilized to study the expression of c-myc oncogene in relation to the kinetics of maturation, and it was found that the inhibition of the expression of this gene precedes the onset of phenotypic differentiation by approximately 8 hr, is transient, and is accompanied by a brief retardation of cell proliferation, which resumes the normal rate within 24 hr of the exposure to the inducer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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