Persistent mumps virus infections were established in rat pheochromocytoma (PC-12) and human medulloblastoma (TE-671) continuous cell lines. Significant amounts of infectious virus were produced by the PC-12 cells; infectious virus production by the TE-671 cells was limited. This restricted replication may be due to decreased production of viral envelope glycoproteins by TE-671 cells. The presence of virus changed the distribution of stimulus-evoked electrical responsiveness of both cell lines from responsiveness composed primarily of normal, rapidly rising, all-or-nothing action potentials to one dominated by abnormal, slowly rising, graded responses or by no response at all. Such changes have the potential to disrupt neural integration within the nervous system, and suggest a new mechanism by which persistent virus infections might play a role in chronic neurological and/or mental disease.


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