A monospecific inhibitory antibody directed to phospholipase C (phosphoinositidase C) blocked the antiviral effect of human interferons alpha and beta when tested on human quiescent fibroblasts challenged with the vesicular stomatitis virus. This action was due to specific inhibition of polyphosphoinositide hydrolysis because (a) the F(ab′)2 fragment of the antibody molecule was also inhibitory; (b) excess antibodies directed to phospholipase A2 and to a phosphatidylcholine-preferring phospholipase C did not have any inhibitory effect, and (c) the combination of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-acetate and calcium ionophore A23187 had an interferon-like antiviral effect which was not influenced by the inhibitory anti-phospholipase C antibodies. To avoid an interferon-like effect due to induction of interferon by second messengers, Vero cells, which lack interferon biosynthesis, were also used. Liposomes containing inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate and 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-rac-glycerol protected Vero cells against the infection with the vesicular stomatitis virus. These results taken together show that phosphoinositide-derived second messengers are involved in triggering the antiviral effect of interferons alpha and beta.

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