A cell line (LB59Ly) derived from the leukocytes of a leukaemic cow was established as a monolayer, which spontaneously released large amounts of a retrovirus. This virus was found to be indistinguishable from the bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) produced by the commonly used high-producing heterologous cell line (FLK-BLV). Like the latter, its reverse transcriptase activity was greater in the presence of Mg cations than in the presence of Mn cations; its polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis pattern showed the presence of gp51, p24, p15, p12 and p10, and the antigenicity of the two major proteins completely cross-reacted with those of BLV from FLK-BLV cells. The virus was infectious and induced early and late polykaryocytosis, the specificity of which was demonstrated by use of specific anti-BLV sera.


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