Exposure of normal human fibroblasts (F107) in stationary phase to γ radiation inhibited the appearance of induced ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity. Skin fibroblasts derived from two ataxia telangiectasia (AT) patients (F184 and F182) displayed a similar response. The level of DNA repair synthesis was also similar in the three cell strains. Fibroblasts from another apparently normal donor (F196) were very sensitive to inhibition of induced ODC activity by γ radiation and were also deficient in radiation-induced DNA repair synthesis. However, the two strains derived from normal donors displayed the same degree of cellular sensitivity towards X-rays, whereas the two AT strains showed the typical hypersensitivity to the cytotoxic effect of X-irradiation. The results suggest a possible correlation between the inhibition of induced ODC activity by γ radiation and the extent of DNA repair synthesis at high radiation doses, but there is no correlation between these two parameters and cellular survival at low radiation doses.