Cultured fibroblasts with hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) deficiency exhibited acceleration of purine synthesis de novo, absence of salvage IMP synthesis from hypoxanthine, but normal total IMP synthesis. Cells with phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthetase superactivity exhibited acceleration of both de novo and salvage IMP synthesis and increased total IMP synthesis. The study of mutant cells furnished evidence that in normal as well as mutant cells, GMP and AMP are not converted to each other in significant amounts and that these nucleotides are not degraded by nucleotidases. Purine nucleotide degradation in fibroblasts occurs mainly by dephosphorylation of IMP. In HGPRT-containing cells, salvage IMP synthesis from preformed and exogenously supplied hypoxanthine is the main source for IMP production.