Prostaglandin biosynthesis by a human macrophage-like cell line, U937

M. A. Cobb, W. Hsueh, L. M. Pachman, W. T. Barnes

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18 Scopus citations


The human macrophage-like cell line, U937, produced significant amounts of prostaglandin (PG) E2 when incubated with exogenous arachidonic acid (AA). The synthesis of PGE2 was completely inhibited by pretreatment with indomethacin (20 μg/ml). Another major metabolite, unidentified, which was released during incubation with AA, was not inhibited by indomethacin, but was decreased by nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) (10-5 M) or BW755C (10-4 M). These results confirm the presence of cyclooxygenase and perhaps lipoxygenase activities in this macrophage-like cell line. Challenge of U937 cells with zymosan, opsonized zymosan, phorbolmyristate acetate (PMA), heat-aggregated human IgG (AHG), or calcium ionophore A23187 failed to stimulate synthesis and release of either PGE2 or the above mentioned metabolite. The inability of U937 cells to release endogenous AA from cell lipid for PG synthesis constitutes an important functional difference between these cells and normal macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalRES Journal of the Reticuloendothelial Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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