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Blood Cells. 1986;11(3):459-68.

Induction of differentiation in HL-60 promyelocytic cells: a comparative study in two sublines.


Two variants of HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells (HSC, OCI) that were indistinguishable by morphology, cell surface markers, DNA histograms, and by their inability to reduce nitroblue tetrazolium, were induced to differentiate by retinoic acid (RA), 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA), and by phytohemagglutinin-leucocyte conditioned medium (PHA-LCM). Only OCI cells were induced to differentiate to mature granulocytes by TPA. Both cell lines expressed, however, the monocytic associated cell surface antigen detected by MO1 monoclonal antibody in response to TPA. MO1 expression was detected as early as 32 hours after initiation of differentiation by TPA, whereas partial morphologic changes were apparent only after 72 hours. Induction of differentiation by retinoic acid led to a significant inhibition of colony formation in HSC variant (from 1522 +/- 60 to 523 +/- 20/10(4) cells plated) and in the OCI variant (from 628 +/- 20 to 185 +/- 33 colonies/10(4) cells plated). The addition of PHA-LCM further inhibited colony growth of both RA-induced cell lines (155 +/- 7/10(4) cells plated in HSC, and 59 +/- 4 in OCI). PHA-LCM by itself reduced HL-60 colony numbers in a dose-related manner, and also increased the expression of MO1 on noninduced HSC and OCI cells. These observations suggest that differentiation of HL-60 cells is not necessarily accompanied by concomitant change in morphology, cell surface characteristics, and proliferation potentials, and may be dependent on different degrees of cellular commitment. They also suggest a role for growth factors in the induction to maturation of leukemic cells.

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