The biochemical evidence against incorporation of the purine analogues, allopurinol and oxipurinol, into nucleic acids is reviewed. Cytological experiments have been carried out to investigate the possibility that chromosomal damage might result from exposure of human lymphocytes to these drugs. Lymphocytes from 19 patients receiving allopurinol and one receiving oxipurinol were examined for the presence of chromatid aberrations during metaphase, and lymphocytes from untreated subjects were similarly studied during in vitro exposure to the drugs. The low frequency of aberrations observed was well within normal limits, and it is concluded that allopurinol and oxipurinol have no deleterious effects on chromosome structure.
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