When L cells were treated with interferon and subsequently with poly(rI). poly(rC), there was a pronounced toxic effect. Most of the cells lysed, but some survived and grew at the same rate as control cells to yield cells which were as sensitive to the effects of interferon and poly(rI). poly(rC) as the original population. The proportion of surviving cells did not vary with either the cell cycle or the cell density. The treated cells produced interferon and some of the interferon was produced by the resistant cells.

Cells which had been X-irradiated before treatment with interferon and poly(rI).poly(rC) behaved similarly so cell division was not necessary for the development of toxicity. The toxic effect also developed when cells were enucleated with the aid of cytochalas in B after treatment with interferon, but not if they were enucleated before treatment. It is concluded that the nucleus is essential for interferon to exert its effect on the cells, but not for the development of cytotoxicity after the addition of poly(rI).poly(rC).


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