Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



For many years scientists have been searching for an answer to the problem that the disease leukemia, has posed. Numerous drugs have been tested as a possible check for leukemia, and one such drug used has been Six-Mercaptopurine (hereafter referred to as 6-MP). 6-MP is a highly toxic nucleic acid antimetabolite that suppresses antibody formation. In this form it is a highly effective immuno-suppressant when used against neoplastic conditions and homografts. However, it has a high degree of toxicity which has frequently proved fatal.

The toxicity of 6-MP has limited the treatment period of the drug to approximately two days at a time and just a little over 1.2/mg/kg per day in man as opposed to 1800 mg/kg/day in chicks. This was observed by Lewis and others (1968) as a result of research conducted on the toxicity of 6-MP in chicks at Prairie View A. and M. College.

The end-product of protein metabolism in man is urea, a derivative of 6-thiouric acid as opposed to uric acid, the end-product of protein metabolism in the chick. It has been conclusively established that the chick normally excretes large amounts of uric acid. In view of the chick's normal high tolerance for 6-MP, it seems logical to assume that this species may possess a mechanism which enables it to normally detoxify the oxidative metabolism end-products associated with the degradation of 6-MP and its derivatives more effectively than man or other species previously studied.

An understanding of the biochemical mechanism responsible for the chick's capacity to tolerate and efficiently dispose of such agents as 6-MP which are so extremely toxic to man, would contribute significantly to the information now available for other species.

Since the 6-MP bismuth complex is relatively new to the field of chemotherapy, it is hoped that this work will add to the known facts related to its effects in chemotherapy. This paper has a twofold purpose: (1) To compare the effects of 6-MP and 6-MP-Bismuth Complex on Leukocyte count. (2) To compare the toxicity of 6-MP and 6-MP Bismuth Complex LD50 and Uric acid Concentration of liver and sera.

Committee Chair/Advisor

Edward W. Martin


Prairie View A&M College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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