High titres of rat interferon (IFN) can be produced by rat embryo fibroblast (CD) cells after treatment with Newcastle disease virus. This CD IFN was characterized by SDS-PAGE, and was found to contain three species at 30K to 33K, 25K to 27K and 17K to 22K mol. wt. Antibody affinity chromatography revealed that 95% of the CD IFN bound to an anti-human leukocyte IFN antibody column, 34% to an anti-mouse L cell IFN antibody column and none to an anti-human fibroblast IFN antibody column. The IFN that bound to the anti-human leukocyte IFN antibody column contained all three molecular weight species of IFN. However, the material bound to the anti-mouse L cell IFN antibody column only showed IFN activity of the 30K and 20K species. Examination of the heterologous antiviral activity of the unseparated CD IFN and of the IFN separated by antibody affinity chromatography revealed the same patterns of activity: 35 to 50% of homologous activity on guinea-pig cells, 10 to 20% on mouse cells, 2 to 4% on human cells and none on bovine cells. The data suggest that a major portion of this rat fibroblast IFN is related to alpha IFNs produced by other species.


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