Establishment and characterization of a human acute monocytic leukemia cell line (THP-1)

Int J Cancer. 1980 Aug;26(2):171-6. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910260208.


A human leukemic cell line (THP-1) cultured from the blood of a boy with acute monocytic leukemia is described. This cell line had Fc and C3b receptors, but no surface or cytoplasmic immunoglobulins. HLA haplotypes of THP-1 were HLA-A2, -A9, -B5, -DRW1 and -DRW2. The monocytic nature of the cell line was characterized by: (1) the presence of alpha-naphthyl butyrate esterase activities which could be inhibited by NaF; (2) lysozyme production; (3) the phagocytosis of latex particles and sensitized sheep erythrocytes; and (4) the ability to restore T-lymphocyte response to Con A. The cells did not possess Epstein-Barr virus-associated nuclear antigen. These results indicate that THP-1 is a leukemia cell line with distinct monocytic markers. During culture, THP-1 maintained these monocytic characteristics for over 14 months.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line*
  • Complement C3b
  • Esterases / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukemia, Monocytic, Acute / pathology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • Monocytes / ultrastructure
  • Muramidase / biosynthesis
  • Phagocytosis
  • Receptors, Complement / analysis
  • Receptors, Fc / analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Receptors, Complement
  • Receptors, Fc
  • Complement C3b
  • Esterases
  • Muramidase