The antiviral activity and induction of interferon-like substance by mepacrine (quinacrine, Atabrine®) and Acranil® in mice, described previuosly, was studied in more detail and compared with tilorone. The serum substance induced by Acranil was characterized as mouse interferon. Acranil, given parenterally, proved to be as strong as tilorone regarding interferon stimulation, in spite of the presence of only one side chain in the Acranil molecule. Mepacrine was found to be a weaker interferon inducer than either tilorone or Acranil. The mode of interferon induction by Acranil and tilorone (effect of metabolic inhibitors, hyporesponsiveness to repeated doses, correlation between acute toxicity and antiviral activity, failure of effectiveness in chicks and chicken embryo tissue culture) was found comparable. However, the body temperature reactions of mice to the drugs were different: a striking hypothermic effect of tilorone, a lower one of mepacrine and the absence of body temperature depression by Acranil was observed.
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