5,5′-dimethyloxazolidine-2,4-dione is a strong inducer of differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells

Tina M. Calderon, Natalie Schneiderman, Josef Michl, Judith K. Christman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


5,5′-Dimethyloxazolidine-2,4-dione (DMO), a weak non-metabolizable acid, is commonly utilized for determining intracellular pH. In these studies, DMO was tested as an inducer of differentiation on the basis that its uptake and subsequent dissociation might transiently raise intracellular pH and activate ion-fluxes critical for triggering maturation. After 5 days of exposure to 40 mM DMO, >60% of HL-60 cells displayed phenotypic and functional changes characteristic of mature granulocytes. As with other inducers of HL-60 cell differentiation, commitment to differentiation required culture in the presence of DMO for more than 24 h, indicating that if transient effects on pH or ion-fluxes occurred, they were not sufficient to trigger this process. DMO was either weak or inactive as an inducer of murine erythroleukemia cell (FLC) differentiation. Although other weak acids and bases triggered differentiation of both HL-60 cells and FLC, the spectrum of response differed markedly between the two lines. These results suggest that: (1) a number of common buffering agents have the potential to alter cell phenotype, and (2) their effects must be evaluated for each individual cell type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalCell Differentiation and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • 5,5′-Dimethyloxazolidine-2,4-dione
  • Cellular differentiation
  • Friend erythroleukemia cell
  • Human promyelocytic leukemia cell
  • Ion-flux
  • Neutrophil
  • Poly ADP ribosylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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