- The effect of acute infection of mice with lactic dehydrogenase virus (LDV) on two major functions of peritoneal macrophages was tested. Using a macrophage-dependent T cell proliferative assay to test the antigen-presenting capacity of LDV-infected macrophages we found that LDV impairs the capacity of antigen-presenting cells to trigger memory T lymphocytes. Endocytosis of antigen by LDV-infected macrophages was similar to that of uninfected cells. In addition, the proportion of intracellular antigen versus membrane-bound antigen in LDV-infected cells were similar to that observed in uninfected mice. It appears therefore, that the impaired immunogenic effect of LDV-infected macrophages results from reduced immunogenicity of the membrane-bound antigen. Testing the phagocytic activity of peritoneal macrophages we found that the uptake of radiolabeled antibody-coated sheep erythrocytes or bacteria (E. coli) by infected cells was similar to that by uninfected macrophages. In addition, LDV failed to affect the ability of peritoneal macrophages in a nitroblue tetrazolium reduction reaction which serves as an alternative parameter for measuring phagocytic activity. Our results support the assumption that LDV, which probably propagates in the cells of the reticuloendothelial system, impairs some of the immunogenic functions of macrophages and thereby affects macrophage-dependent immune responses.