Thioglycolate-induced mouse peritoneal macrophages were activated in vitro by the lymphokine designated macrophage-activating factor (MAF) produced by a murine T cell hybridoma to lyse herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)-infected murine target cells. Comparison of uninfected BALB/c 10E2 cells with HSV-2-infected 10E2 cells showed that macrophages activated with MAF selectively destroyed HSV-2-infected cells and left uninfected cells unharmed, as measured by an 18-h 51Cr-release assay. In contrast, macrophages treated with medium were as efficient as MAF-activated macrophages in suppressing the production of HSV-2 from virus-infected cells. These findings suggest that macrophages must attain an activated state to lyse HSV-2-infected cells. Finally, incubation of macrophages with liposomes containing MAF was shown to be a highly efficient method for activation of macrophages against HSV-2 infected cells. The ability to selectively destroy herpesvirus-infected cells in vitro by macrophages activated with liposome-encapsulated MAF suggests that the therapeutic efficacy of this treatment in vivo should be evaluated
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