Effect of Culture Conditions on the Phenotype of THP-1 Monocyte Cell Line

Authors

  • Paulomi B. Aldo,

    1. Department of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Reproductive Immunology Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
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  • Vinicius Craveiro,

    1. Department of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Reproductive Immunology Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
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  • Seth Guller,

    1. Department of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Reproductive Immunology Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
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  • Gil Mor

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Reproductive Immunology Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
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Correspondence

Gil Mor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Reproductive Immunology Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, LSOG 305A, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

E-mail: gil.mor@yale.edu

Abstract

Problem

Macrophage function has many implications in a variety of diseases. Understanding their biology becomes imperative when trying to elucidate immune cell interactions with their environment, and in vitro cell lines allow researchers to manipulate these interactions. A common cell line used is THP-1, a promyeloid cell line suggestive to outside factors, and therefore sensitive to culture conditions. In this study, we describe how culture conditions can alter THP-1 morphology and in turn affect their response to differentiation stimuli.

Method of Study

THP-1 cells were cultured in two conditions and treated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) or MCSF. CD14 surface expression was determined by flow cytometry and cytokine/chemokine production determined by multiplex analysis.

Results

Culture conditions of THP-1 affect their response to PMA. Highly confluent THP-1 cells differentiate into a heterogeneous population responsive to PMA as seen by an increase in CD14 expression. However, these cells, cultured in low confluence, remain as a homogenous population and do not gain CD14. Additionally, there are major differences in the constitutive cytokine profile.

Conclusion

We demonstrate that the culture conditions of THP-1 cells can alter their response PMA. This suggests that culture techniques may account for the discrepancy in the literature of both basal THP-1 phenotype and their response to PMA.

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