Korean J Immunol.  1999 Sep;21(3):285-289.

Increased Growth of Human Leukemic HL-60 Cells by Dimethyl Sulfoxide and Dimethylformamide


A recent study has proposed that dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) increases the number of HL-60 cells in high cell density conditions by inhibiting cell density-dependent apoptosis. We observed that dimethylformamide (DMF), a DMSO-related polar compound, also increased the concentration of HL-60 cells. The effective dose range of DMSO and DMF was 0.5-1% and 0.2-0.6% respectively. DMF, like DMSO, inhibited density-dependent apoptosis of HL-60 cells. The flow cytometric PKH26 cell proliferation assay showed DMSO and DMF actively increased cell division. However, the difference in the distribution of cell cycle phase was not noted between the control and the DMSO- or DMF-treated HL-60 cultures. Finally, DMSO and DMF stimulated HL-60 growth even in low density conditions. These results suggest that DMSO and OMF at appropriate concentrations increase the number of HL-60 cells by both apoptosis inhibition and cell division augmentation.


Dimethyl sulfoxide; Dimethylformamide; HL-60; Proliferation; Apoptosis
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