The early steps of rabies virus (CVS) infection were studied in chicken embryo-related (CER) cells. The infection was monitored by looking for specific intracytoplasmic viral inclusions using anti-rabies fluorescein isothiocyanate at 24 h after the addition of virus. The attachment of rabies virus to CER cells was shown to be inhibited by pretreatment of the cells with neuraminidase. These cells recovered their susceptibility to rabies virus infection 6 h after removal of the enzyme. Treatment of CER cells with neuraminidase after the viral attachment step did not inhibit infection. The subsequent delivery of infectious virions into acid prelysosomal vacuoles or lysosomes was studied using lysosomotropic agents. Ammonium chloride and chloroquine were used to prevent the virus fusion step thus preventing infection. Both drugs were shown to inhibit the early steps of infection, NH Cl having a much earlier effect than chloroquine. The two drugs had no effect on the attachment step nor did NHCl inhibit virus multiplication. The use of metabolic inhibitors (2-deoxy--glucose and sodium azide) shows that the entry of rabies virus into CER cells does not require the involvement of cellular energy processes. In electron microscopy studies, the presence of rabies virus particles was detected in coated pits and coated vesicles as well as in uncoated vesicles, and later in lysosomes. These data indicate that the mechanism by which rabies virus enters CER cells is probably through adsorptive endocytosis and does not require the participation of cellular metabolic active processes.


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