Liver microsomes, isolated from rats which had been treated with phenobarbital in vivo, were found to exhibit increased activities of oxidative demethylation and TPNH-cytochrome c reductase and an increased amount of CO-binding pigment. Simultaneous administration of actinomycin D or puromycin abolished the phenobarbital-induced enzyme synthesis. Increased rate of Pi32 incorporation into microsomal phospholipid was the first sign of phenobarbital stimulation and appeared 3 hours after a single injection of this drug. Microsomes were divided into smooth-surfaced and rough-surfaced vesicle fractions. The fraction consisting of smooth-surfaced vesicles exhibited the greatest increase in protein content and oxidative demethylation activity after phenobarbital administration in vivo. Ultrastructural studies revealed that drug treatment also gave rise to proliferation of the endoplasmic reticulum in the hepatic parenchymal cells, first noticed after two phenobarbital injections. The phenobarbital-induced synthesis of the metabolizing enzymes is discussed with special reference to the relationship to the stimulated synthesis of the endoplasmic membranes.

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