Abstract The calculated rate of DNA synthesis using [5- 3H]TdR was about 4 times higher than in the case of [5- 3H]CdR labeling, even after correction for the specific radioactivities of the intracellular pools. These data show a compartmentation of dCTP pools in lymphocytes. Hydroxyurea increased the specific activities of both dTTP and dCTP pools so that the calculated rate of DNA synthesis became equal. The same effect was found for araC treatment, but not for fluorodeoxyuridine. dCTP was supplied from CTP which is the lowest ribonucleotide pool in lymphocytes. Different functions of the two dCTP pools are proposed: one serving DNA replication; the other one supplies phospholipid precursors and DNA repair.