Effects of human fibroblast (beta) or leukocyte (alpha) interferon (IFN) on differentiations of a human histiocytic lymphoma-derived cell line (U937) or promyelocytic leukemia-derived cell line (HL-60) were studied. When cultured with beta-IFN (400-1,000 U/ml), U937 cells showed gross morphologic and microscopic changes consisting of clumping, increased cytoplasmic-to-nuclear ratio, enhanced prominence of cytoplasmic granules, and membrane ruffling. After culture with beta-IFN, the number of U937 cells reactive with B43.4.1 monoclonal antibody, which is specific for human monocytes, natural killer cells, and neutrophils, increased from less than 10% of U937 cells to 47% beta-IFN treatment also enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against chicken erythrocytes by U937 cells. The same morphologic, phenotypic, and functional changes were also observed when U937 were treated with recombinant or natural alpha-IFN. The effects of alpha-IFN were totally abolished by anti-alpha-IFN serum. In contrast, HL-60, which differentiates toward cells of the monocyte lineage in response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (based on the above criteria), and toward granulocytes in response to dimethyl sulfoxide, did not differentiate when cultured with alpha- or beta-IFN. No consistent relationship between induction of differentiation and changes in phospholipid methylation were observed.
T Hattori, M Pack, P Bougnoux, Z L Chang, T Hoffman