Effect of coumarins on HL-60 cell differentiation

Anticancer Res. Jul-Aug 2000;20(4):2505-12.


Twenty-eight coumarins, including 7 furocoumarins, were examined for their activity of induction of terminal differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemia cells (HL-60) by nitro blue tetrazolium (NBT) reducing, nonspecific esterase, specific esterase and phagocytic activities. Esculetin, nordalbergin, 6,7-dihydroxy-4-methylcoumarin and imperatorin had strong activity among the coumarins examined. HL-60 cells treated with these coumarins differentiated into mature monocyte/macrophage. The structure-activity relationship established from the results revealed that 6,7-dihydroxy moiety had an important role in the induction of differentiation of HL-60.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Coumarins / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • HL-60 Cells / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Coumarins