The human leukemia cell line, THP-1: a multifacetted model for the study of monocyte-macrophage differentiation

Experientia. 1991 Jan 15;47(1):22-31. doi: 10.1007/BF02041244.


THP-1 is a human monocytic leukemia cell line. After treatment with phorbol esters, THP-1 cells differentiate into macrophage-like cells which mimic native monocyte-derived macrophages in several respects. Compared to other human myeloid cell lines, such as HL-60, U937, KG-1, or HEL cell lines, differentiated THP-1 cells behave more like native monocyte-derived macrophages. Because of these characteristics, the THP-1 cell line provides a valuable model for studying the mechanisms involved in macrophage differentiation, and for exploring the regulation of macrophage-specific genes as they relate to physiological functions displayed by these cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Monocytic, Acute*
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Monocytes / cytology*
  • Proto-Oncogenes*