THP-1 is a human leukemia monocytic cell line, which has been extensively used to study monocyte/macrophage functions, mechanisms, signaling pathways, and nutrient and drug transport. This cell line has become a common model to estimate modulation of monocyte and macrophage activities. This review attempts to summarize and discuss recent publications related to the THP-1 cell model. An overview on the biological similarities and dissimilarities between the THP-1 cell line and human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) derived-monocytes and macrophages, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the use of THP-1 cell line, is included. The review summarizes different published co-cultivation studies of THP-1 cells with other cell types, for instance, intestinal cells, adipocytes, T-lymphocytes, platelets, and vascular smooth muscle cells, which can be an option to study cell-cell interaction in vitro and can be an approach to better mimic in vivo conditions. Macrophage polarization is a relatively new topic which gains interest for which the THP-1 cell line also may be relevant. Besides that an overview of newly released commercial THP-1 engineered-reporter cells and THP-1 inflammasome test-cells is also given. Evaluation of recent papers leads to the conclusion that the THP-1 cell line has unique characteristics as a model to investigate/estimate immune-modulating effects of compounds in both activated and resting conditions of the cells. Although the THP-1 response can hint to potential responses that might occur ex vivo or in vivo, these should be, however, validated by in vivo studies to draw more definite conclusions.
Keywords: Immune modulation; In vitro; Macrophage; Monocyte; THP-1.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.