Endogenous expression of antisense RNA in transfected cells has been explored for use in blocking cellular gene expression and for its antiviral potential. Antisense strategies were used with the goal of blocking measles virus (MV) infection. A recombinant expression plasmid was designed to produce antisense oligonucleotides targeted to the 5' end of the MV nucleocapsid protein mRNA. This construct was transfected into HeLa cells. The transfected cell line and a control cell line expressing a random RNA comprising the same nucleotides were infected with MV and assessed for viral resistance by observation of cytopathic effect (CPE); infectious virus was quantified by viral plaque assay. Both cell lines were also infected with a related paramyxovirus, mumps virus, as a specificity control. Both CPE and infectious virus were reduced by approximately 90% in the antisense-expressing line compared with that in control cells or transfectant cells expressing random RNA. There was no evidence of resistance to infection with mumps virus in any cell line.