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Leuk Res. 1982;6(6):839-44.

Purine and pyrimidine activities in acute and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: relation to cellular proliferative status.


The cellular levels of the purine catabolic enzymes adenosine deaminase (ADA) and purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) and those for the pyrimidine activities thymidine phosphorylase and thymidine kinase isozymes have been measured concurrently in peripheral blood nucleated cells of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, chronic lymphocytic or prolymphocytic leukaemia and correlated with the spontaneous tritiated thymidine uptake of the isolated cells. Highest ADA levels occurred in T-ALL cells but considerable overlap of individual activities occurred for non-T, non-BALL, B-CLL and T-CLL cells. The levels of PNP showed no distinct discriminatory trend in cells of the lymphoid proliferative disorders examined. Thymidine phosphorylase activity was markedly reduced in T-ALL and T-CLL cells with a stepwise increase in the level of mean activities for non-T, non-B ALL, B-CLL and B-PLL cells to that of isolated normal peripheral blood lymphocytes. Spontaneous tritiated thymidine uptake of the abnormal lymphoid cells exhibited a correlation between cellular thymidine kinase isozyme 1 and elevated ADA levels. The use of ADA inhibitors together with thymidine infusion for the treatment of lymphoproliferative disorders is discussed.

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