Evidence for the existence and source of a humoral factor which initiates and controls hepatic regeneration have been reviewed. Collections of this humoral factor have been made by perfusing 24-hour regenerating rat livers. An assay system for this humoral factor has been described which is based on perfusing isolated normal rat livers with the humoral factor, looking for an increase in hepatic DNA synthesis. Autoradiographic studies have revealed that the cells which are synthesizing new DNA in preparation for cell divison are mainly hepatic parenchymal cells (plus an occasional biliary ductal cell) located in all the liver lobules with a distribution primarily in the periportal areas-following the direction of portal and hepatic inflow.
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