Cells which produce ecotropic murine leukaemia virus have been detected in the bone marrow and the spleen of weanling AKR mice, using an infectious centre technique based on the XC test. There is a noticeable increase in the number of virusproducing cells between day 3 and day 12 after birth, in both of these organs. Some of the virus-producing cells that appear after day 3 have been identified as haemopoietic precursor cells of the granulocyte-macrophage blood lineage. Such precursor cells do not produce virus during the embryonic period and they progressively become involved in virus production after day 3. By day 12, all of them are active virus producers. Thus, the ecotropic virus is expressed in precursor cells of the haemopoietic system, and the latter represent at least one-third of the virus-producing cells in the bone marrow of young AKR mice.


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