Repression of Interferon Action: Induced Dedifferentiation of Embryonic Cells

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Science  08 Jan 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3966, pp. 77-79
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3966.77


Cells cultured from young (6-day) chicken embryos differ from those of older (13-day) embryos in having a greater susceptibility to infection by certain viruses and a considerably lesser sensitivity to the action of interferon. These circumstances parallel those observed in the intact embryo. The addition of a small percentage of cells from young embryos alters the response of cells cultured from older embryos by increasing viral susceptibility sevenfold and decreasing sensitivity to interferon 25-fold. We postulate that a repressor which inhibits the expression of interferon in older embryonic cells is elaborated by cells from young embryos.

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