Within 3.5 to 4 hours after thionine administration, numerous small osmiophilic bodies, liposomes, appear in the endoplasmic reticulum of the liver cells. By fusion, the liposomes lead to the formation of larger collections of fat, giant liposomes. Adenine administration to ethionine-treated rats removes the liposomes from the hepatocytes and causes the transitory appearance of osmiophilic droplets in the sinusoidal space of Disse. The characteristic disaggregation of hepatic polysomes seen in the liver after ethionine administration is corrected by the injection of adenine.

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