Interaction between human peripheral blood monocytes and tumor promoters: Effect on growth differentiation and function in vitro

Yona Keisari*, Cora Bucana, Simcha Markovich, Debra E. Campbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Studies on the differentiation and activation of human monocytes in tissue cultures have usually been limited by the deterioration of human monocytes and macrophages in long-term cultures. In this study, we attempted to establish long-term human monocyte/macrophage cultures using the phorbol ester 12-0 tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA), and we studied the morphology, function, and biochemical properties of such treated human blood monocytes. Enriched suspensions of monocytes were obtained using Ficoll-Hypaque gradient and cultured in the absence or presence of various concentrations of TPA. Samples were removed at different times and processed for scanning electron microscopy. Parallel samples were examined for numbers of adherent cells, phagocytosis, oxidative burst, β-galactosidase assays, and lectin-mediated erythrolysis. TPA-treated monocytes survived in larger numbers in culture for up to 7 weeks and were more pleomorphic and exhibited higher β-galactosidase activities after 14 days in culture than untreated monocytes. TPA-treated cells and untreated cells in long-term cultures showed a decrease in their oxidative burst activity while their phagocytic activity was not affected, and the TPA treatment augmented the lysis of wheat germ agglutin-opsonized erythrocytes by the cultured monocytes. TPA treatment of adherent human monocytes resulted in cell cultures with increased numbers of viable and functionally adherent cells for extended periods of time and does not seem to interfere with the differentiation and maturation of the cells in culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-410
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Response Modifiers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1990


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Differentiation
  • Human monocytes
  • Oxidative burst
  • Phagocytosis
  • Tumor promoters


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