1. Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) activity was measured in erythrocyte haemolysates and quadriceps muscle extracts of normal and dystrophic 129 ReJ and C57 BL/6J mice with [8-14C]hypoxanthine as substrate and 5-phosphorylribose 1-pyrophosphate as a ribose 5-phosphate donor. [8-14C]Inosine monophosphate formed was separated by high-voltage electrophoresis and radioactivity was measured by liquid-scintillation counting.
2. In erythrocyte haemolysates, HGPRT activity was similar in normal and dystrophic C57 BL/6J mice but was significantly higher in dystrophic than in normal 129 ReJ mice. Elevated enzyme activity was observed only in mice that were clinically severely affected.
3. In muscle homogenates, HGPRT activity was significantly higher in dystrophic than in normal animals of both 129 ReJ and C57 BL/6J mice. Enzyme activity was not related to the severity of the disease.
4. It is suggested that changes in erythrocytes are secondary to the dystrophic process and that elevated HGPRT activity in skeletal muscle may be related to abnormal energy metabolism, possibly via the pentose monophosphate shunt.