In order to understand the mechanism of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, we studied the effect of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) on murine ectoplacental cone (EPC) cells . Cytopathic effects (c.p.e.) were seen in many MCMV-infected EPC cell cultures 5 to 7 days after exposure to MCMV. The infected cells showed intranuclear inclusions characteristic of CMV infection when stained with May-Grunwald-Giemsa. Culture fluids collected from MCMV-infected EPC cells after 4 or more days of culture caused c.p.e. when co-cultivated with mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEF). Employment of the anti-complement immunofluorescence (ACIF) test detected MCMV-specific antigens, hybridization localized MCMV DNA and electron microscopy detected the presence of the viral particles in the MCMV-infected EPC cells. Thus, exposure of EPC cells to MCMV resulted in a productive infection.


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