Early mouse embryos at the four- to eight-cell stage or the blastocyst stage could be infected with the A7 strain of Semliki Forest virus (SFV) after the removal of the zona pellucida, either by Pronase treatment or following hatching of blastocysts. With SFV, rapid virus production and eventual cytolysis resulted from infection at either stage. Four four- to eight-cell embryos the cytopathic effect was delayed and a proportion of embryos developed to the blastocyst stage. Four- and eight-cell embryos could not be infected with rubella virus (RV), even after removal of the zona pellucida. RV infection of zona-free blastocysts resulted in a productive but non-cytolytic infection which did not affect embryonic development to the early egg-cylinder stage. RV did not multiply in inner cell mass cells isolated from embryos at the blastocyst stage, although SFV did multiply in such cells.

Keyword(s): mouse embryos , RV and SFV

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