Herpes simplex virus (HSV) stimulates DNA synthesis in mouse spleen cultures prepared from normal, macrophage-depleted, and T-cell-depleted spleen cells, but not from thymocytes. In addition, a polyclonal antibody response is observed in HSV-infected spleen cultures. These findings indicate that the cells stimulated to undergo DNA synthesis after HSV infection appear to be the bone marrow-derived lymphocytes. The newly synthesized DNA is host cell and not of viral origin. Heat treatment and ultraviolet irradiation of HSV before addition to spleen cultures prevents the induction of DNA synthesis. We consider the use of this system as assay for the study of cell transformation by HSV and also for the study of host cell control of the expression of the viral genome.

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