Original Articles

Effect of human leukocyte interferon on Coxsackie B-2 virus-infected rat beating heart cells in culture

Authors: Ying-zhen Yang, John W Dyke


The protective effect of human leukocyte interferon (HLI)on cardiac enzymes-lactic acid dehydrogenase(LDH) and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), beating %, cytopathic effect(CPE), and cytotoxicity as measured by release of 51 Cr in Coxsackie B-2 virus-infected newborn rat heart cell cultures was observed. The heart cell cultures treated with HLI at various intervals against Coxsackie B-2 virus were also stuied by electroconductivity. The LDH,SGOT,beating %, CPE were of no significant differences among uninfected , infected, infected-HLI treated, and HLI control groups at intervals from 2 to 42 h. The LDH in infected group was higher than other 3 groups at 66 h(P<0.01) and at 72 to 120 h (P<0.001). The SGOT was also elevated(P<0.01) in infected group than other 3 groups at intervals from 66 to 120 h after incubation. The beating % began to decrease in infected group at 42 h, and a marked decrease was presented at intervals from 66 to 96 h. The CPE appeared rapidly from ± to 4+ at the same intervals. In contrast, the beating % was 100% and no CPE was shown in other 3 groups throughout. The cytotoxicity of 51Cr-labelled heart cells treated with HLI before virus challenge was lower(P<0.01) than that of infected but untreated cultures at 72 h after virus inoculation.
A significant protective effect was provided when HLI was treated between 18 h before to 16.5 h after virus challenge. The protection was incomplete if HLI was treated 18 to 24 h after challenge, and no protection was seen if treated with HLI 48 h after challenge. It is interesting that human interferon protected the rat heart cells against viral infection since mouse interferon has only been known to exert important effect on mouse heart cell cultures. This study indicates that interferon may exert some protective effect on early stage of acute viral heart disease.

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