Girish Mahajan (Editor)

THP 1 cell line

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THP-1 is a human monocytic cell line derived from an acute monocytic leukemia patient. It is used to test leukemia cell lines in immunocytochemical analysis of protein-protein interaction, and immunohistochemistry.


Cell Characteristics Growth Information

Note that although THP-1 cells are of the same lineage, mutations can cause differences as the progeny proliferates.


These cells show a large, round, single-cell morphology.

They are derived from the peripheral blood of a 1 year old human male with acute monocytic leukemia. Some of their characteristics are:

  • They have Fc receptor and C3b receptors and lack surface and cytoplasmic immunoglobulins.
  • They produce IL-1.
  • They stain positive for alpha-naphthyl butyrate esterase, produce lysozymes and are phagocytic (both for latex beads and sensitized erythrocytes).
  • They can restore the response of purified T lymphocytes to Con A.
  • They show increased CO2 production on phagocytosis and can be differentiated into macrophage-like cells using for example phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (commonly known as PMA or TPA).
  • The HLA type for THP-1 using molecular-based typing methods is HLA-A*02; B*15; C*03; DRB1*01, DRB1*15; DRB5*01/02;
  • DQB1*05, DQB1*06.

    Growth Information

    This cell line can provide continuous culture, grown in suspension; RPMI 1640 + 10% FBS + 2mM L-Glutamine. The average doubling time is 19 to 50 hours. 1 mM sodium pyruvate, penicillin (100 units/ml) and streptomycin (100 μg/ml) are also commonly added to inhibit bacterial contamination. Cultures should be maintained at cell densities in the range 2-9x105 cells/ml at 37 °C, 5% CO2. Cells are non-adherent.


    Cell line of human origin. There is no evidence for the presence of infectious viruses or toxic products. However, it is recommended that cultures are handled under Biosafety Level 2 containment.


    THP-1 cell line Wikipedia