Any of various purines having two oxygen atoms attached to the six-member ring of carbon and nitrogen atoms. Xanthines include caffeine, theophylline (a toxic alkaloid found in tea leaves), and theobromine (a toxic alkaloid found in cocoa).
The simplest of this class of compounds, forming yellowish-white crystals. It is produced in the body as an intermediate stage in the breakdown of purines to uric acid. It is also found in blood and in certain plants. Chemical formula:C5H4N4O2.