Normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes cultured with phytohemagglutinin in folate-free RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with normal human serum exhibit megaloblastic maturation. These changes are accompanied by a decrease in intracellular folate content, and when compared to folate-replete cells, reveal increased 3H-thymidine incorporation into DNA together with a decreased inhibitory effect of deoxyuridine on 3H-thymidine incorporation. This in vitro system of cellular folate deficiency is a convenient model for analysis of biochemical events accompanying megaloblastic maturation.

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