A strain of avian influenza A virus was adapted to grow in mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro. The adapted strain, called M-TUR, induced a marked cytopathic effect in macrophages from susceptible mice. Mice homozygous (A2G) or heterozygous (F1 hybrids between A2G and several susceptible strains) for the gene Mx, shown previously to induce a high level of resistance towards lethal challenge by a number of myxoviruses in vivo, yielded peritoneal macrophages which were not affected by M-TUR. Peritoneal macrophages could be classified as resistant or susceptible to M-TUR without sacrificing the cell donor. Backcrosses were arranged between (A2G X A/J)F1 and A/J mice. 64 backcross animals could be tested individually both for resistance of their macrophages in vitro after challenge with M-TUR, and for resistance of the whole animal in vivo after challenge with NWS (a neurotropic variant of human influenza A virus). Macrophages from 36 backcross mice were classified as susceptible, and all of these mice died after challenge. Macrophages from 28 mice were classified as resistant, and 26 mice survived challenge. We conclude that resistance of macrophages and resistance of the whole animal are two facets of the same phenomenon.

This content is only available as a PDF.