The reticuloendothelial system has been implicated as a major site of interferon production (Kono & Ho, 1965; De Somer & Billiau, 1966; Fruitstone 1966). Due to a general, lack of stimulation, the reticuloendothelial system of germ-free animals is relatively under-developed (Thorbecke 1957; Thorbecke, 1959) and we thought it of interest to investigate the capacity of such animals for interferon production.

Germ-free or conventional CFW mice of the strain, 8 to 10 weeks old were challenged intravenously with 0.2 ml. of an optimal interferon inducing dose of Newcastle disease virus (8 × 10 p.f.u.). At 2 hr intervals sera from three or four animals were pooled. The interferon titres of these sera were determined as described by Wagner (1961), using plaque reduction of vesicular stomatitis virus on Earle's L cells. The response of the conventional animals reached a peak of about 6000 interferon units/ml. 6 hr after challenge (Fig. 1).


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