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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Hugh A. Miller III

Committee Members

Karl H. Joplin, David S. Chi


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a cytokine produced primarily by macrophages during acute inflammation. In this study we examined the differential effect of retinoic acid (RA) and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) on the induction of TNF-α secretion from U937 monocytic cell populations by using the reverse hemolytic plaque assay (RHPA). The RHPA will allow us to investigate both changes in TNF-α secreting populations as well as monitor the relative amount of TNF-α released from individual cells. Our results indicate that treatment of U937 cells with RA (10-6M) moderately increases the secreting cell populations, and dramatically enhances the amount of TNF-α secreted from cells already committed to secretion. In contrast, treatment with PMA (250ng/ml) drastically increased the secreting population, but only slightly increasing the amount of TNF-α released. These results suggest that induction of TNF-α secretion from U937 cells occurs by different pathways.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.