Abstract The monocyte-like human cell line U-937 has been differentiated in vitro by incubation with either 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 3 or retinoic acid (RA) plus dibutyryl cyclic AMP (db-cAMP). Both methods were effective in inducing the appearance of maturation markers. Their actions on insulin receptors were the opposite, however; 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 3 increased the binding of the hormone, while RA plus db-cAMP decreased the binding. These effects were specific for insulin, since the transferrin receptors were reduced by both methods of differentiation. Thus, the changes in insulin receptors during maturation in vitro depend on the inducing agent and are not causally related to the differentiation process.