Lithium and hydrocortisone interactions on cell growth and gene expression in human promyelocytic leukemia (HL60) Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Lithium (Li) and hydrocortisone (HC) modify gene expression as well as stimulate human hematopoiesis in vivo and in vitro. The responses of blood-forming tissues, to these natural substances individually, are closely similar. However, clonogenic co-culture experiments, using normal human bone marrow cells, have revealed that the effects of Li and HC are not additive but rather mutually inhibitory. Studies of HL-60 cells in suspension indicate that growth of this human promyelocytic leukemic line is enhanced by HC at 10(-6) M, a "therapeutic" plasma concentration. This phenomenon is abrogated by the co-addition of Li at 3 x 10(-4) M, likewise a "therapeutic" plasma concentration. Neither substrate exerts any influence on the morphological or cytochemical features of differentiation which accompany exposure of HL-60 cells to dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO), retinoic acid (RA), tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA) or sodium butyrate. In contrast, the expression of c-fms, a cellular proto-oncogene which codes for the CSF-1 (monocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) surface membrane receptor, is modified by Li in the presence of the differentiation induction agents DMSO and RA which promote the development of mature granulocytes from HL-60 cells. These observations afford further insights into the humoral mechanisms which modulate the expression of genes involved in the regulation of hematopoiesis.


  • Knight, Susan C
  • Harnish, Delsworth
  • Scheid, Elizabeth
  • Koekebakker, Marijke
  • Barr, Ronald Duncan

publication date

  • January 1989