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Catalogue No.


Cell Line Name


Cell Line Description

The HL-60 cell line was derived from peripheral blood leukocytes obtained by leukopheresis of a 36-year-old Caucasian female with acute promyelocytic leukemia. It was among the first long-term suspension cultures of human myeloid leukaemic cells to be established. Approximately 10% of HL-60 cells spontaneously differentiate and differentiation can be stimulated by polar planar compounds butyrate, hypoxanthine, phorbol myristic acid (PMA, TPA), dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO, 1% to 1.5%), actinomycin D, and retinoic acid.

Access Cell line profile for this product


Tissue of Origin


DNA profile (STR Profile)

Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 13,14
D5S818: 12
D7S820: 11,12
D13S317: 8,11
D16S539: 11
TH01: 8
TPOX: 8,11
vWA: 16


Modal no. 46, pseudodiploid


Differentiation studies


Promyelocytic Leukaemia

Culture Conditions

Cell Type


Subculture Routine

When starting from a frozen ampoule, add thawed cells to a conical based centrifuge tube e.g. 15ml tube. Slowly add 4 ml of culture medium to the tube. Take a sample of the cell suspension, e.g. 100ul, to count cells. Centrifuge the cell suspension at low speed i.e. 100–150 x g for a maximum of 5 mintues. Remove medium and resuspend the cell pellet at a density of 3–5 x 100,000 cells/ml in fresh medium containing 20% serum. Incubate flask at 37°C; 5% CO₂. Cell growth after resuscitation is slow, it may take up to 10 days for proliferation to be established. Check daily. Once the culture is established the serum concentration can be reduced to 10%. Maintain cultures between 1-9 x 100,000 cells/ml; 5% CO₂; 37°C; at low density or they may differentiate. At ECACC it has been found to be difficult to recover cells of acceptable viability after freezing in 10% glycerol/90% FBS. We recommend using 10% DMSO/90% FBS for this purpose, but spinning out the cells at resuscitation as above to remove the DMSO as it can cause cells to differentiate. After 6 weeks in culture cells may differentiate.

Culture Medium

RPMI 1640 + 2mM Glutamine + 10-20% Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS).

Growth Mode


Additional Info


Dr Chris Bunce, Department of Medicine, University of Birmingham, UK

Country of Origin

United Kingdom

Hazard Group (ACDP)

Hazard Group (ACDP) 2



Collins et al., (1977) Continuous growth and differentiation of human myeloid leukaemic cells in suspension culture. Nature 270:347-349.


Abaan OD, Polley EC, Davis SR, Zhu YJ, Bilke S, Walker RL, Pineda M, Gindin Y, Jiang Y, Reinhold WC, Holbeck SL, Simon RM, Doroshow JH, Pommier Y, Meltzer PS.2013 The exomes of the NCI-60 panel: a genomic resource for cancer biology and systems pharmacology. Cancer Res. 73(14):4372-82. PMID: 23856246.

Available Formats

  • Frozen
  • DNA-5µg (100ng/µl)

If use of this culture results in a scientific publication, it should be cited in the publication as: HL60 (ECACC 98070106).

Unless specified otherwise, at ECACC we routinely handle all of our cell lines at containment level 2 in accordance with the ACDP guidelines (Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens) (UK). All cell cultures have the potential to carry as yet unidentified adventitious agents. It is the responsibility of the end user to ensure that their facilities comply with biosafety regulations for their own country. ACDP Guidance: Biological agents: Managing the risks in laboratories and healthcare premises.

The Culture Collections represent deposits of cultures from world-wide sources. While every effort is made to ensure details distributed by Culture Collections are accurate, Culture Collections cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the data supplied. References where quoted are mainly attributed to the establishment of the cell culture and not for any specific property of the cell line, therefore further references should be obtained regarding cell culture characteristics. Passage numbers where given act only as a guide and Culture Collections does not guarantee the passage number stated will be the passage number received by the customer.

Cultures supplied by Culture Collections are for research purposes only. Enquiries regarding the commercial use of a cell line are referred to the depositor of the cell line. Some cell lines have additional special release conditions such as the requirement for a material transfer agreement to be completed by the potential recipient prior to the supply of the cell line. Please view the Terms & Conditions of Supply for more information.