SUMMARY. The effect of host-cell metabolism on the attachment of to mammalian cells was studied. The growth of baby rabbit genital organ (BRGO) cells was enhanced by increasing the concentration of serum (“serum shift-up”) in the growth medium. Cells starved for 24 h in serum-free medium showed a burst of DNA synthesis when shifted to fresh medium containing 20% serum. In aerobic conditions, they were much more heavily coated with attached than cells shifted to 20% serum after maintenance at serum concentrations of 2.5%, 5% or 10%. This effect was very pronounced during the first few hours of co-incubation. In microaero-philic conditions, the extent of adherence also paralleled the increase in DNA synthesis by BRGO cells. Cycloheximide and methotrexate greatly inhibited DNA and protein synthesis in BRGO cells, but did not affect the motility of . When BRGO cell metabolism was inhibited by these two drugs, attachment of was significantly decreased. These results indicate that attaches best to actively growing BRGO cells in tissue culture. This may explain the apparently preferential parasitism of actively growing tissues by in syphilis in man.


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