In mouse mammary tumours often a virus particle, called a B particle by Bernhard & Guérin (1958), is found which is associated with the genesis of these tumours (Hageman, Links & Bentvelzen, 1968). Three distinct biological entities show B particles, viz. the Bittner virus (Hageman 1968), the nodule-inducing virus (Nandi, 1966), and the Mühlbock virus (Bentvelzen, 1968). The general opinion about chemical and physical induction of mammary tumours in mice is against the idea of potentiation of latent mammary tumour viruses (cf. Bittner, 1960). This contrasts with concepts on similar modes of induction of leukaemia in mice (see for a review Gross (1961) and Kaplan (1967)). We have found that injection of carcinogenic chemicals or whole body irradiation of B-particle-free mice leads to the release into the serum of antigens which cross-react with a soluble antigen of the Bittner virus (Daams 1968, Bentvelzen 1968).


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