Although poly(I) is generally considered to be inactive as an interferon inducer, we have found several authentic poly(I) preparations to be effective inducers. Their interferon inducing ability varied considerably from one cell system to another. In human diploid fibroblasts, primed with interferon and superinduced by cycloheximide and actinomycin D, all active poly(I) samples proved nearly as effective in inducing interferon as poly(I).poly(C). In primary rabbit kidney cell cultures, the active poly(I) samples were either as active, or 3 to 30 times less active than poly(I).poly(C). In intact rabbits they were 100 times less active than poly(I).poly(C). Except for one particular sample, all active poly(I) preparations were inferior to poly(I).poly(C) when assayed for interferon induction in interferon-treated mouse L cells; in DEAE-dextran-treated L cells, they induced little, if any, interferon. The poly(I) inducers of interferon were considerably more susceptible to degradation by T1 ribonuclease, pancreatic ribonuclease and human serum nuclease(s) than was poly(I).poly(C) when assayed under the same conditions. Due to their limited half-life time in biological fluids, poly(I) analogues such as those described here may offer a greater safety margin in clinical use than poly(I).poly(C).


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