After 10 days of a protein-free diet the acinar cells of the rat pancreas showed a coarsening of nuclear matrix, depletion of zymogen granules, some loss of ribosomes, and a widening of the spaces between ergastoplasmic membranes. In addition, there could be found, but rarely, a lesion of the ergastoplasm consisting of vacuoles of agranular, disoriented membranes, which was similar to a lesion produced by ethionine. Thereafter, a return toward normal structure occurred which was characterized by beginning increase in the size of the Golgi apparatus at 12 days, appearance of zymogen granules at 18 days, and a relatively normal appearing but smaller cell at 28 days. After 10 to 12 days of protein deprivation a reversal of many of the morphologic effects of protein deprivation was accompanied by a return toward normal of some pancreatic enzyme activities. Possibly this spontaneous return toward normal levels represented a raiding of protein stores, or it may have been an adaptive phenomenon.

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