Normal neutrophil differentiation and secondary granule gene expression in the EML and MPRO cell lines

Exp Hematol. 1998 Nov;26(12):1178-85.


The EML and MPRO cell lines express a dominant negative retinoic acid receptor alpha that causes a block at specific stages of myelopoiesis. The EML cell line is multipotent and gives rise to erythroid, lymphoid, and myeloid lineages depending on the presence of appropriate cytokines. The MPRO cell line is promyelocytic and undergoes neutrophilic differentiation when induced with all-trans retinoic acid in the presence of granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Previous studies have shown that both of these cell lines undergo morphological differentiation into neutrophils. In this study, we show that unlike other models of neutrophil differentiation such as NB4 and HL60, both EML and MPRO cell lines undergo complete, normal granulocytic differentiation programs. Similar to HL60, MPRO and EML induce expression of CD11b/CD18 and also exhibit downregulation of CD34 on differentiation. In contrast to HL60 and NB4, EML and MPRO cell lines coordinately upregulate secondary granule transcripts for lactoferrin and neutrophil gelatinase. Furthermore, we have confirmed previous observations that serum can induce a low level of differentiation in MPRO cells and that it is possible to grow these cells in serum-free medium, thereby eliminating this effect. Based on these studies, it appears that these lines can serve as a model for normal retinoic acid-induced neutrophil differentiation and provide insight into the role of the retinoic acid-responsive pathway in normal and leukemic myelopoiesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD34 / biosynthesis
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Line / drug effects
  • Cell Line / metabolism
  • Collagenases / genetics
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free / pharmacology
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Lactoferrin / genetics
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / biosynthesis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mice
  • Neutrophils / cytology*
  • Neutrophils / ultrastructure
  • RNA / analysis
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology


  • Antigens, CD34
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Tretinoin
  • RNA
  • Lactoferrin
  • Collagenases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9