There is evidence that the spleen is one of the main sites of interferon synthesis (Heineberg, Gold & Robbins, 1964; Kono & Ho, 1965; Fruitstone 1966). Other studies have shown that the role of the spleen is more important in the production of interferon in response to intravenously administered endotoxin than in the synthesis of virus-induced interferon (De Somer & Billiau, 1966; Borecky & Lackovic, 1967; Ito 1971). Effects of X-irradiation and antilymphocyte serum on the levels of circulating interferon prompted the conclusion that peripheral blood lymphocytes take part in myxovirus-induced interferon production (De Maeyer, De Maeyer-Guignard & Jullien, 1969; De Maeyer-Guignard & De Maeyer, 1971).

We have shown previously that although acute or fractional X- or γ-irradiation or acute proton irradiation causes a reduction in spleen weight, the synthesis of circulating interferon does not change, and sometimes even increases, when poly I:C or endotoxin was used as inducer (Tálas 1971, 1972).


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