In vivo analysis of the virus titer in various loci, 24 hr after infection, showed that a titer similar to that in the blood plasma was found in the ascitic fluid of Erlich ascites cancer-bearing mice, and in lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus, i.e. loci which contain macrophages as a common cell type. However, only in the lymph nodes and in the ascitic fluid did the increase in virus titer precede or parallel the increase in the plasma.
The LDH virus titer in the plasma of X-irradiated mice was similar to that of control mice, eliminating radiation-sensitive cells but not macrophages as target cells of the virus.
Electron microscopic observation of infected lymph node cells revealed the presence of two types of particles: one consisting of small densely stained annuli, about 25 mµ in diameter and one of similar dense annuli with a halo extending the diameter to about 50 mµ. Such particles were repeatedly observed within single or double membraned vesicles.
In vitro, the LDH virus multiplied only in cultures of mouse peritoneal macrophages, maintained in medium 199 with 10% FBS. The virus titer could be maintained for at least 33 days, during eleven serial passages, involving an overall dilution factor of 1011. These results corroborate the findings of Evans and Salaman, who used peritoneal macrophages maintained in Eagle's medium and 5 to 10% lamb serum. However, in the serial passage experiments reported here, the virus titer could only be maintained following trypsinization of each successive inoculum. The role of macrophages as the target cell for LDH virus multiplication in vivo is discussed.