Induction of the differentiation of HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells by L-ascorbic acid

Hee Kyoung Kang, Jung Han Suh, Jung Jin Lee, Sun Hee Yoon, Jin Won Hyun, Seong Won Choi, Jeong Yun Choi, Kyung Ha Ryu, Myung Hee Chung

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15 Scopus citations


The present study was undertaken to examine the effect of L-ascorbic acid (LAA) on the growth of HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells, besides induction of apoptosis. LAA (≥ 10-4 M) was found to markedly inhibit the proliferation of HL-60 in liquid culture and clonogenicity in semisolid culture. Moreover, LAA-treated HL-60 showed activity to produce chemiluminescence and expressed CD 66b cell surface antigens, indicating that LAA induces the differentiation of HL-60 mainly into granulocytes. The results are supported by morphological changes of LAA-treated HL-60 into segmented neutrophils. Therefore, the inhibitory effect of LAA on the growth of HL-60 cells seems to arise from the induction of differentiation. To assess the potential role of LAA, cells were exposed to oxygen radical scavengers in the absence or presence of LAA. Catalase abolished and superoxide dismutase promoted LAA-induced differentiation of HL-60. Thus, H2O2 produced as a result of LAA treatment seems to play a major role in induction of HL-60 differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-779
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea through the National Research Laboratory Program for Free Radicals.


  • Differentiation
  • Granulocytes
  • HL-60
  • HO
  • L-ascorbic acid


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