HeLa cells were infected with adenoviruses (types 1–4) and sectioned for electron microscopy after intervals of 20 to 48 hours. Clusters of virus-like particles were found within the nuclei of infected cultures but not in those of uninfected controls. The particles were often arranged in rows as if in crystalline formation. Maximal diameter of particles was approximately 65 mµ, and internal bodies were demonstrated.
Lesions of infected cells included target-like structures of the nuclear membrane, large nuclear vacuoles (type 2), and increased numbers of large irregular electron-dense granules in the cytoplasm 48 hours after infection. Examination of infected cultures by light microscopy, using the Feulgen reaction, showed intranuclear inclusion bodies and a cytopathogenic effect consisting of clumping of cells without pyknosis of nuclei. A lipide stain showed numerous cytoplasmic granules that were not identical with the large, irregular, electron-dense granules of the cytoplasm.
Practically all the cells showed the viral cytopathogenic effect, but only a minority of cells were found to contain virus-like particles or intranuclear inclusion bodies.