In this communication we show that activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase by DNA damage can produce drastic alterations in carbohydrate metabolism. We examined alterations in NAD+, NADP+, ATP and glucose-6-phosphate in L1210 murine leukemia cells, following exposure to different concentrations of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Treatment of cells with 20 micrograms/ml MNNG produced rapid depletion of NAD+ and ATP. The G-6-P pool showed a biphasic change: first the pool size decreased, then increased to a level greater than that present in control cells. Nicotinamide treatment prevented the total depletion of NAD+ and this in turn helped preserve the ATP pools and prevented the biphasic alteration in G-6-P pool sizes.