Peripheral blood lymphocytes were isolated from 9 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and 12 normal control donors. The cells were assayed for synthesis of DNA and poly-(adenosine diphosphate ribose) (poly[ADPR]) immediately after isolation and on successive days following their treatment with phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Two different techniques were used to measure DNA synthesis. In the standard technique, DNA synthesis was measured by incubating intact cells with [3H]deoxythymidine. In the new technique, the lymphocytes were first rendered permeable to nucleotides, then DNA synthesis was measured by incubating them with [3H]deoxythymidine triphosphate in the presence of deoxyATP, deoxyGTP, deoxyCTP, ATP, and Mg++. Both assays showed the anticipated rise in DNA synthesis after PHA stimulation of normal cells. PHA-stimulated lymphocytes from patients with CLL demonstrated low levels of DNA synthesis in both assay systems.
Nathan A. Berger, Jessie W. Adams, Georgina W. Sikorski, Shirley J. Petzold