GM3 ganglioside, added exogenously to a promyelocytic leukemia cell line (HL-60 cells) in serum-free synthetic medium, induced differentiation into macrophage-like cells. Macrophagic morphology and function of differentiation-induced cells were determined by cell growth behavior, May-GriJnwald-Giemsa staining, activities of nonspecific esterase, phagocytosis and nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction. GM3 ganglioside may play a role in triggering differentiation of HL-60 cells into macrophage-like cells.

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