Gamma Interferon Induces Monocytoid Differentiation in the HL-60 Cell Line

J Clin Invest. 1984 Apr;73(4):1072-7. doi: 10.1172/JCI111292.


We investigated the ability of purified, recombinant DNA-derived interferons (IFN) to induce phenotypic changes in cells of the HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cell line. Changes in cell surface markers detected by monoclonal antibodies as well as morphologic, histochemical, and functional changes were monitored. We found that gamma-IFN, but not alpha- or beta-IFN, induced the expression of antigens characteristic of monocytes and granulocytes (AML-2-23, 63D3, and 61D3), as well as changes in morphology consistent with monocytoid differentiation. These included induction of alpha-naphthyl acetate esterase, increased cell size, and a decrease in azurophilic granules. The gamma-IFN dose dependency and time course of the effect on antigen expression suggest that de novo protein synthesis was induced by gamma-IFN. The activity of gamma-IFN and of mixed-lymphocyte culture supernatant was blocked by a monoclonal antibody to gamma-IFN. Significant augmentation in the ability of the HL-60 cells to mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity was induced by gamma-IFN. These findings suggest that gamma-IFN plays a role in the regulation of hematopoiesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity / drug effects
  • Binding Sites, Antibody
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / drug effects*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / immunology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / immunology
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology*
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Monocytes / pathology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Interferon-gamma