Monocytes are circulatory precursor cells from myeloid origin that can develop into macrophages or dendritic cells upon migration from the blood stream to tissues. Both macrophages and dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells. Monocytes and their macrophage and dendritic-cell progeny serve three main functions in the immune system. These are phagocytosis, antigen presentation, and cytokine production. THP-1 and U937 are (pro-) monocytic cell lines that can, also in vitro, be differentiated into either various types of macrophages or into dendritic cells. This chapter describes how to grow THP-1, resp. U937 cells, how to differentiate these into more specialised phenotypes such as various macrophage types or dendritic cells, how to read-out their responses to stimuli and it gives examples of how such cell lines have been used into studying the effects of food compounds.
- Cell line