• Careers
  • Support



Product category
Human cells
Homo sapiens, human
Pleural effusion
Histiocytic Lymphoma
3D cell culture
Product format
Storage conditions
Vapor phase of liquid nitrogen
Buy Now
Price: $555.00 EA
Discounts may be available for our fellow nonprofit organizations. Login to see your price.

Generally ships within 1-3 business days


ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Required Products

These products are vital for the proper use of this item and have been confirmed as effective in supporting functionality. If you use alternative products, the quality and effectiveness of the item may be affected.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
This cell line is suitable as a transfection host


Growth properties
The U-937 cell line was derived by Sundstrom and Nilsson in 1974 from malignant cells obtained from the pleural effusion of a patient with histiocytic lymphoma.
37 years
Clinical data
The U-937 cell line was derived by Sundstrom and Nilsson in 1974.
Genes expressed
lysozyme; beta-2-microglobulin (beta 2 microglobulin); tumor necrosis factor (TNF), also known as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha, TNF alpha); after stimulation with phorbol myristic acid (PMA)
Expression markers
Complement (C3)
Studies since 1979 have shown that U-937 cells can be induced to terminal monocytic differentiation by supernatants from human mixed lymphocyte cultures,
The cells are negative for immunoglobulin production and Epstein-Barr virus expression.
The cells express the Fas antigen, and are sensitive to TNF and anti-Fas antibodies.
In 1994, PCR and cytogenetic analyses showed that a number of stocks of U-937 were contaminated with the human myeloid leukemia cell line, K-562.
In the earliest stocks available, the level of contamination was 0.6%.
Distribution was discontinued in March 1994, except if required for patent purposes.
Anyone who wishes to receive a sample of this original material should contact the Head of the ATCC Patent Depository.
A stock of CRL-1593 found to be free of K-562 was propagated continuously for 8 weeks and tested weekly by PCR.
Distribution and seed stocks give DNA profiles characteristic of U-937 only.
Such preparations are now offered as authentic U-937 (ATCC CRL-1593.2) and are believed to be free of second subpopulations.

Handling information

Unpacking and storage instructions
  1. Check all containers for leakage or breakage.
  2. Remove the frozen cells from the dry ice packaging and immediately place the cells at a temperature below ­-130°C, preferably in liquid nitrogen vapor, until ready for use.
Complete medium
The base medium for this cell line is ATCC-formulated RPMI-1640 Medium, ATCC 30-2001. To make the complete growth medium, add the following components to the base medium: fetal bovine serum (ATCC 30-2020) to a final concentration of 10%.
95% Air, 5% CO2
Handling procedure

To insure the highest level of viability, thaw the vial and initiate the culture as soon as possible upon receipt. If upon arrival, continued storage of the frozen culture is necessary, it should be stored in liquid nitrogen vapor phase and not at -70°C.  Storage at -70°C will result in loss of viability.

  1. Thaw the vial by gentle agitation in a 37°C water bath. To reduce the possibility of contamination, keep the O-ring and cap out of the water.  Thawing should be rapid (approximately 2 minutes).
  2. Remove the vial from the water bath as soon as the contents are thawed, and decontaminate by dipping in or spraying with 70% ethanol. All of the operations from this point on should be carried out under strict aseptic conditions.
  3. Transfer the vial contents to a centrifuge tube containing 9.0 mL complete culture medium. and spin at approximately 125 x g for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Resuspend cell pellet with the recommended complete medium (see the specific batch information for the culture recommended dilution ratio). and dispense into a 25 cm2 or a 75 cm2 culture flask).
  5. Incubate the culture at 37°C in a suitable incubator. A 5% CO2 in air atmosphere is recommended if using the medium described on this product sheet.


Subculturing procedure
Cultures can be maintained by the addition of fresh medium or replacement of medium. Alternatively, cultures can be established by centrifugation with subsequent resuspension at 1 to 2 X 105 viable cells/mL. Corning® T-75 flasks (catalog #431464) are recommended for subculturing this product.
Interval: Maintain cell density between 1 X 105 and 2 X 106 viable cells/mL.
Medium Renewal: Add fresh medium every 3 to 4 days (depending on cell density)
Reagents for cryopreservation
Complete growth medium supplemented with 5% (v/v) DMSO (ATCC 4-X)

Quality control specifications

Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
STR profiling
Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 12
D13S317: 10,12
D16S539: 12
D5S818: 12
D7S820: 9,11
TH01: 6,9.3
TPOX: 8,11
vWA: 14,15
D3S1358: 16
D21S11: 27,29
D18S51: 13,14
Penta_E: 13
Penta_D: 12,13
D8S1179: 12,13
FGA: 22,25
D19S433: 14,16
D2S1338: 17,20


Deposited as
Homo sapiens
H Koren
Year of origin

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.

This material was deposited by Dr. K. Nilsson and is distributed for research purposes only under the ATCC Material Transfer Agreement. This material has been released subject to the following:

  1. Transfers - the material or its products may not be transferred to third parties.
  2. Commercial Use - all for-profit and non-profit Recipients must obtain a commercial use license prior to Commercial Use.
  3. Publishing - in all papers reporting any use of these cells, or derived products, a direct reference will be made to the original publication: Sundstrom and Nilsson (Int. J. Cancer 17: 565-577, 1976).

Any proposed commercial use of these cells, or their products, must first be negotiated with:

Rudbeck Laboratory
Attn: Professor Kenneth Nilsson
SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden



Curated Citations

Ralph P, et al. Lysozyme synthesis by established human and murine histiocytic lymphoma cell lines. J. Exp. Med. 143: 1528-1533, 1976. PubMed: 1083890

. Gene expression during normal and malignant differentiation. London: Academic Press; 1985.

. International symposium on new trends in human immunology and cancer immunotherapy. Paris: Doin Editeurs; 1980.

Koren HS, et al. In vitro activation of a human macrophage-like cell line. Nature 279: 328-331, 1979. PubMed: 450085

Gidlund M, et al. Natural killer cells kill tumour cells at a given stage of differentiation. Nature 292: 848-850, 1981. PubMed: 7266653

View All Curated Citations for this Product

Frequently Asked Questions

Need assistance with this product? Contact our Technical Support team.


US and Puerto Rico

Outside the US

Hours of Operation

9:00am - 5:00pm
US Eastern Time