In addition to radiolytic adenine release, radiolysis of adenosine 5'-monophosphate, in the absence of oxygen, can result in the formation of 8-hydroxyadenosine 5'-monophosphate and both the (R)- and (S)-epimer of 8,5'-cycloadenosine 5'-monophosphate. The mononucleoside derivatives of these modified nucleotides were also observed in irradiated solutions of adenosine and in the enzyme hydrolysates of irradiated solutions of polyadenylic acid (poly A) using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In an effort to detect 8,5'-cyclo(deoxy) adenosine formation in irradiated nucleic acids, polyclonal antiserum were raised with specificity to the 8,5'-cycloadenosine 5'-monophosphate moiety and used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The 8,5'-cyclo(deoxy)adenosine moiety could be detected in nitrous oxide-saturated aqueous solutions containing unhydrolyzed poly A at 10 Gy and DNA at 200 Gy using the colorimetric ELISA. Correlation of product yield measured by ELISA with HPLC analysis of irradiated, enzyme-hydrolyzed solutions of poly A revealed that the ELISA was precisely reflecting changes in the combined yield of (R)- and (S)-8,5'-cycloadenosine.