The effect of partially thiolated polycytidylic acid (MPC) on the colony-forming ability of the progenitor cells (CFUC) of RF/Un leukemic mice was investigated using the plasma clot method in order to study the mode of action of the modified polynucleotide. The results showed that MPC inhibited the CFUC in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Once a maximum level of inhibition of CFUC (∼40%) was observed, no further inhibition occurred whether the concentration of MPC was increased or whether the duration of incubation was lengthened. High-specific-activity [3H]thymidine, an S-phase-specific agent, showed a similar inhibition profile on the CFUC as did MPC. When MPC and high-specific-activity [3H]thymidine were incubated together with the bone marrow cells, there was no additive or synergistic inhibitory effect on the CFUC. Thus, it appears that MPC is an S-phase-specific agent. When injected i.v. into the mice, MPC decreased the number of CFUC of both the bone marrow and the spleen significantly.

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Supported by Research Grant CH-20-F from the American Cancer Society and Grant CA-5834 from the National Cancer Institute, NIH.

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