Infection with mouse hepatitis virus type 3 (MHV 3) of primary cultures of Kupffer and endothelial cells from the livers of resistant (A/J) and susceptible (BALB/c) mice was followed by the appearance of typical syncytia and comparable yields of virus. Using cells from A/J mice there was a delay of about 24 to 36 h in the appearance of the first particles detected by electron microscopy, the maximum viral titre and the number and size of syncytia. The partial resistance to MHV 3 multiplication expressed by cells from A/J mice was also observed when they were infected with a strain of low virulence (JHM strain). The delay in MHV multiplication found in the sinusoidal liver cells, mainly in the endothelial cells, may be an important factor in their resistance, by allowing time for the local and systemic responses to clear the infective particles as well as in determining their degree of hepatotropism.


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