Mouse L-929 cells (L cells), human oligodendroglioma cells, and rat glioma cells were persistently infected with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) mutant tsG31 and maintained for at least 4 years at 37°C. The striking observation in this study was that there is a marked difference in neurovirulence among the persistent infections (PIs) derived from the three cell lines. tsG31 VSV derived from persistently infected L cells and oligodendroglioma cells remained highly virulent as assayed by intracerebral (i.c.) inoculation into 3-week-old Swiss mice. In contrast, tsG31 VSV isolated from glioma cells lost neurovirulence by passage 20. Persistently infected glioma cells were carried through more than 180 passages without reemergence of neurovirulent virus. Importantly, glioma PI virus neurovirulence was restored quickly by i.c. passage in mice and more slowly by passage through normal L cells. In contrast, the neurovirulence of L-cell PI virus was enhanced by i.c. passage in mice and more slowly reduced by passage through normal glioma cells. Furthermore, no alteration in neurovirulence was observed in the case of oligodendroglioma PI virus. Although the mechanism(s) underlying the loss of virulence in glioma cells is unclear, our studies suggest that either strict temperature sensitivity or the presence of a heat-labile transcriptase or both play a major role in this phenomenon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science