Nucleic Acid Turnover Studies in Human Leukæmic Cells and the Function of Lymphocytes


THE experiments described here were undertaken to ascertain the pattern of purine utilization and turnover in the nucleic acids of different types of leukæmic leucocytes. The results indicate that leukæmic lymphocytes survive longer than leukæmic granulocytes. The results also direct attention to the possibility of re-utilization of large fragments of nucleic acids by lymphocytes, and invite speculation on the significance of this process as an explanation of the problem in long-term immunity of how formation of antibody continues long after the limited contact between tissues and antigen.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Shemin, D., and Rittenberg, D., J. Biol. Chem., 166, 627 (1946).

  2. 2

    Heiberg, K. A., Acta Med. Scand., 65 443 (1926–27). Bloom, W., “Handbook of Hematology”, edit. Downey, 2, 1429 (Hoeber, New York, 1938). Maximow, cited by Bloom, ibid., 1488.

  3. 3

    Chase, M. W., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. and Med., 59, 134 (1945). Mitchison, N. A., Nature, 171, 267 (1953).

  4. 4

    Billingham, R. E., Brent, L., and Medawar, P. B., Nature, 172, 603 (1953).

  5. 5

    Heidelberger, M., Treffen, H. P., Schoenheimer, R., Ratner, S., and Rittenberg, D., J. Biol. Chem., 144, 555 (1942). Bulman, N., and Campbell, D. H., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. and Med., 84, 155 (1953).

  6. 6

    Hamilton, L. D., Henry Ford Hospital Symposium, “The Leukemias: Etiology and Pathophysiology” (Academic Press, New York, in the press).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.