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J Exp Med. 1959 Oct 1;110:525-41.

Studies on persistent infections of tissue cultures. IV. Evidence for the production of an interferon in MCN cells by myxoviruses.

Abstract

In previous reports of this series, it was shown that persistent infection of MCN cultures with certain myxoviruses rendered the cells insusceptible to superinfection by several cytopathogenic viruses. It was thought that production of an interferon might be the cause of this resistance and efforts to confirm this suggestion have been presented. Addition of ultraviolet-inactivated myxoviruses (mumps, Newcastle disease, influenza A, and Sendai) to MCN cultures for periods of 2 to 3 hours, followed by washing and refeeding of the cells, led to the subsequent release into the media of a substance which induced in fresh MCN cells a transitory resistance to infection by vesicular stomatitis virus, and prevented incomplete reproductive cycles of influenza A and Sendai viruses. Media containing this substance were free of detectable hemagglutinating activity and viral complement-fixing antigens. The substance was not neutralized by specific antiviral sera; it was not sedimentable by high speed centrifugation; it was not adsorbed onto red cells; but it was inactivated by trypsin. Thus, its properties matched those of the interferon described by Isaacs and his associates. A comparison of the extent of resistance induced in MCN cells by decreasing doses of ultraviolet-inactivated myxoviruses (interference test) and the protection afforded by the media removed from the cultures prior to challenge and transferred to fresh MCN tubes (interferon test) revealed that wherever interference became detectable in the cells, the media of the corresponding cultures contained some interferon. Interferon was obtained by inactivated myxoviruses also from primary cell cultures by the same techniques, but not from HeLa cells. Interferons derived from one type of culture may protect others equally well or show a certain degree of host specificity in that resistance in homologous cells may be somewhat more pronounced than in heterologous cultures. No resistance could be induced in HeLa cells by the interferon preparations employed. Interferon was detected also in MCN cultures, persistently infected with mumps virus. Its concentration was apparently too small in carrier cultures maintained as routine to be measurable. However, when the cells were grown in heavy sheets in roller bottles, and especially when the volume of medium was reduced for several days prior to harvest, interferon became readily detectable. These results strengthen the suggestion that interferon may play a decisive role in the establishment and maintenance of persistent infections in the system under study. Its nature, source, mode of action, and exact role in persistent infection remains to be elucidated.

PMID:
14401038
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2136997
Free PMC Article
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