Pyrimidine Starvation Induced by Adenosine in Fibroblasts and Lymphoid Cells: Role of Adenosine Deaminase

Science  23 Nov 1973:
Vol. 182, Issue 4114, pp. 836-837
DOI: 10.1126/science.182.4114.836


In the presence of 10-4 to 10-5 molar adenosine, established cell lines of fibroblastic or lymphoid origin die of pyrimidine starvation. Less than lethal concentrations inhibit cell growth. Over a broad concentration range, the effects of adenosine are prevented by providing a suitable pyrimidine source. We suggest that the recently described immune deficiency disease associated with absence of adenosine deaminase may be the result of pyrimidine starvation induced by adenosine nucleotides in cells of the lymphoid system.