Infection of mouse L cells with VSV leads to the formation of polykaryocytes about 4 to 12 h p.i. When anti-VSV immune serum was added during the course of infection, progression of cell fusion was soon suppressed. Cycloheximide completely suppressed the cell fusion when the drug was added within 1 h p.i., while the cell fusion was not suppressed at all when the drug was added at and after 3 h. Early polykaryocyte formation, ‘fusion from without’, was observed only at a low level in cells infected at very high multiplicities.

The development of cell fusion induced by VSV was found to be different in several cell types, although all these cells produced a rather high yield of virus: L and C-243-3 mouse cell lines showed a high level of polykaryocytosis (80 to 100%), BHK and RK-13 cells responded at low level, and PS and Vero cells showed no cell fusion in response to VSV infection. In PS cells, however, cell fusion occurred when VSV-infected L cells were co-cultivated. From these observations, the mechanism of cell fusion induced by VSV was discussed.


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