Characterization of a murine cytomegalovirus-induced immunosuppressive factor
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Murine cytomegalovirus infection in spleen cultures resulted in the production of a soluble factor, VISF (virus-induced suppressive factor), which inhibited concanavalin A mitogenesis in fresh spleen cells. Its production was specific for MCMV, since infection of spleen cultures by Sindbis virus, or bacteriophages PM 2 and T 4, and the phagocytosis of latex beads, all failed to elicit VISF. Maximum appearance of the factor occurred within 24 hours p.i. in spleen cultures, and its source was identified as the population of spleen cells which adhered to a plastic culture dish within two hours at 37 degrees C. Non-adherent cells did not produce the factor. Its production was not inhibited by indomethacin. VISF could be concentrated by ultrafiltration on a YM 2 membrane filter, and it was readily fractionated by chromatography on sephadex G-25. In relation to peptides of known molecular weight it appeared to be smaller than 1,400 daltons. Its ability to suppress concanavalin A mitogenesis was largely removed by digestion with proteinase K. Thus VISF appears to be a relatively small peptide or peptide-containing substance. It was purified further by HPLC.
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