Rabbit skin can be rendered abnormally susceptible to papilloma virus infection by preliminary treatments with a variety of agents. The most effective agents thus far found are 0.3 per cent methylcholanthrene in benzene and a mixture in equal parts of turpentine and acetone, applied four or five times at 2 day intervals. When virus is inoculated into skin altered by these agents, either intradermally or by inunction after scarification, papillomas appear earlier and in greater number than on normal skin, and much higher dilutions give rise to growths. The method provides a means of detecting amounts of virus which cause no papillomas upon inoculation into normal skin.
Papilloma virus material which is rubbed into scarified normal or hyperplastic skin is largely lost in the scabbing which ensues, and nearly all of it fails to reach susceptible cells. The preparatory agents which increase the effectiveness of the virus bring about marked epidermal hyperplasia, and the hyperplastic tissue regenerates with greater rapidity when scarified. The agents evidently act in large part by providing young epidermal cells in quantity to the virus, as also by inducing a richer vascularization than ordinary in support of the papillomatous proliferation. It is possible that they also act by providing especially susceptible cells. The implications of the findings are discussed.