Adsorption of sensitized sheep erythrocytes to FL cells infected with HSV-1 was studied biologically and morphologically. Almost 100% of the FL cells at a late stage of infection (i.e. 23 hrs) were positive for the appearance of HSV-1 gC antigen, while about 86% of them had hemadsorption (HAD) activity. To elucidate why all the infected cells do not show HAD activity, FL cells at the similar stage of infection were examined by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy and also by immuno-scanning electron microscopy. When infected cells were treated first with peroxidase-antiperoxidase (PAP) rabbit IgG and then with goat anti-rabbit IgG Iabeled with colloidal gold, the surface of all the cells were clearly tagged with colloidal gold particles. Morphological observations of HAD revealed that many microvilli adhered to the surface of erythrocytes.
Thus, in addition to the expression of HSV-induced FcR on the surface membrane of infected cells, which is prerequisite for HAD, microvilli play an essential role on the appearance of this phenomenon.