Summary. Mouse embryos were cultured in vitro in medium with serum containing interferon which had been induced in vivo by intravenous administration of polyinosine-polycytidylic acid. Two-cell and blastocyst-stage embryos were incubated for 72 and 24 h respectively before embryo transfer, or fixation to determine cell number. Further, blastocysts were outgrown on coverslips in embryo culture medium with fetal calf serum and interferon. Expression of an intermediate filament protein (Mr 55 000) in blastocyst outgrowths was examined with a monoclonal antibody. Embryos appeared morphologically normal and after treatment the mean cell number did not differ from that of controls. Implantation was unaffected by any of the treatments, but culture before transfer in medium containing mouse serum reduced the number of normal fetuses recovered on Day 14 of gestation compared to those cultured in medium without serum. Exposure to interferon did not modify the expression of filaments in the outgrown blastocyst. It is therefore unlikely that interferon induced by viral infection during pregnancy is responsible for preimplantation embryonic loss.
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