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Intervirology. 1982;17(4):201-7.

Effect of mouse peritoneal macrophages on scrapie infectivity during extended in vitro incubation.


Mouse peritoneal macrophages were exposed to scrapie (ME7 strain) brain homogenate in vitro for 2 h at 37 degrees. The samples were assayed for infectivity by analysis of scrapie incubation periods and their values compared to those obtained after extended (1-28 days) in vitro incubation. The scrapie incubation periods for scrapie agent-macrophage mixtures which had undergone extended in vitro incubation were longer than for mixtures assayed after a 2-hour exposure to the scrapie agent. The difference in scrapie incubation periods was more dramatic when residual scrapie was eliminated by washing the cells after the 2-hour exposure to brain homogenate. The scrapie incubation period also increased following in vitro incubation of ME7 in the absence of cells; however, the changes were less than those observed for scrapie agent-macrophage mixtures. In a culture in which cells had been destroyed by UV irradiation after exposure to the scrapie agent, there was more scrapie infectivity than in a comparable culture of untreated, scrapie-exposed macrophages. These results show that scrapie infectivity decreases with extended incubation of scrapie-exposed macrophages, and the data suggest that macrophages can inactivate the scrapie agent in vitro.

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