1. A method of measurement in vitro of purine biosynthesis de novo in human circulating blood lymphocytes is proposed. The rate of early reactions of purine biosynthesis de novo was determined by the incorporation of [14C]formate into N-formyl glycinamide ribonucleotide when the subsequent reactions of the metabolic pathway were completely inhibited by the antibiotic azaserine.
2. Synthesis of 14C-labelled N-formyl glycinamide ribonucleotide by lymphocytes was measured in healthy control subjects and patients with primary gout or hyperuricaemia secondary to renal failure, with or without allopurinol therapy.
3. The average synthesis was higher in gouty patients without therapy than in control subjects, but the values obtained overlap the normal range. In secondary hyperuricaemia the synthesis was at same value as in control subjects.
4. These results are in agreement with the inconstant acceleration of purine biosynthesis de novo in gouty patients as seen by others with measurement of [14C]glycine incorporation into urinary uric acid.