The ultrastructural development of guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) in guinea pig embryo cells was studied using electron microscopy. Tubular structures were found in nuclei of virus infected cells, followed by the appearance of intranuclear inclusions containing virus nucleocapsids. While some nucleocapsids were enveloped at the inner nuclear membrane, others were released into the cytoplasm where they were associated with, or within, dense matrix which was subsequently enveloped by cytoplasmic membranes to form enveloped dense virions. Dense bodies without virus capsids were formed in the cytoplasm and enveloped in a similar manner. An involvement of the nuclear pores in the release of unenveloped virus capsids from the nucleus to the cytoplasm was postulated. Evidence that the enveloped dense virions and dense bodies shared common envelope antigen(s) was obtained by immunoelectron microscopy. The similarities and differences in the ultrastructural development of GPCMV and other cytomegaloviruses are discussed.


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