Letter | Published:

Target cell for oncogenic action of polycythaemia-inducing Friend virus



ONCORNAVIRUSES carry information for two distinct functions: virus multiplication and expression of oncogenicity1,2. The polycythaemia-inducing Friend virus (FVP) (as the Rauscher leukemia virus) infects and replicates in many types of cells cultured in vitro but as yet, no system for both infection in vitro and subsequent expression of oncongenic function has been described3,4. Morphological transformation of unidentified target cells occurs in vivo after infection of susceptible mice by FVP5. Transformation is characterised by the rapid and massive appearance of hyperbasophilic cells, so called Friend cells, only in the spleen red pulp, about 30–40 h after virus inoculation. Thereafter, an erythrocytic maturation starts and proceeds without influence of endogenous or exogenous erythropoietin, the physiological humoral factor for normal erythropoietic differentiation. The number of hyperbasophilic Friend cells and erythroblasts increases; these cells invade the organism and the animal dies 1–2 months after infection.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Huebner, R. J., and Todaro, G. J., Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 64, 1087–1094 (1969).

  2. 2

    Martin, G. S., Nature, 227, 1021–1023 (1970).

  3. 3

    Yoshikura, H., Hirokawa, Y., Yamada, M., and Sugano, H., Jap. J. med. Sci. Biol., 20, 225–236 (1967).

  4. 4

    Wright, B. S., and Lasfargues, J. C., J. natn. Cancer Inst., 35, 319–327 (1965).

  5. 5

    Tambourin, P., and Wendling, F., Nature new Biol., 234, 230–233 (1971).

  6. 6

    Brommer, E. J. P., and Bentvelzen, P., in Unifying Concepts of Leukemia, 929–934 (S. Karger, Basel, 1973).

  7. 7

    Chirigos, M. A., and Marsh, R. W., Antimicrob. Agents Chemoth., 6, 489–494 (1966).

  8. 8

    Seidel, H. J., in Unifying Concepts of Leukemia, 935–942 (S. Karger, Basel, 1973).

  9. 9

    Thomson, S., Proc. Soc. exp. Biol. Med., 130, 227–231 (1969).

  10. 10

    Till, J. E., and McCulloch, E. A., Radiat. Res., 14, 213–222 (1961).

  11. 11

    Trentin, J. J., Regulation of Hematopoiesis, 159–186 (Appleton–Century–Crofts, New York, 1970).

  12. 12

    Schooley, J. C., J. cell. Physiol., 68, 249–262 (1966).

  13. 13

    Curry, J. L., Trentin, J. J., and Wolf, N., J. exp. Med., 125, 703–720 (1967).

  14. 14

    Lajtha, L. G., and Schofield, R., Differentiation, 2, 313–320 (1974).

  15. 15

    Reissmann, K. R., and Udupa, K. B., Cell Tissue Kinet., 5, 481–489 (1972).

  16. 16

    Smadja-Joffe, F., Jasmin, C., Malaise, E. P., and Bournoutian, C., Int. J. Cancer, 11, 300–313 (1973).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink.

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.