Formation of giant cells is characteristic of the cytopathic effect of herpesvirus hominis on cultured rabbit kidney cells. Giant cells are the result of the fusion of many single cells (Falke & Richter, 1960). The stimulus for this phenomenon is linked to the early phases of virus multiplication. It includes transcription (2 hr after infection) and translation (3 hr after infection) of the virus genome (Falke, 1967; Falke, Bitter-Suermann & Clauss, 1969). No information on the biochemical processes leading to giant cell formation is available at present. A possible approach to this problem is the examination of chemical substances for their capacity to inhibit giant cell formation. We describe in the following communication the effect of such a substance.

Compound 48/80 is known as a histamine-liberating substance (Paton, 1951); it is a mixture of monomers, dimers, trimers and possibly tetramers of 4-methoxy-phenethyl--methylamine obtained from the condensation with formaldehyde (Paton, 1951).


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