The enzyme-membrane relationship in phenobarbital induction of synthesis of drug-metabolizing enzyme system and proliferation of endoplasmic membranes has been further studied. Ultrastructural observations suggest that newly formed endoplasmic membranes in rat liver parenchymal cells arise through continuous outgrowth and budding off from pre-existing cisternae and tubules of rough-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum. The membranes induced by phenobarbital treatment persist in the cytoplasm of the hepatocyte for up to 15 days after the last of a series of 5 phenobarbital injections; the phase of regression of the induced enzymes lasts for only 5 days. Disappearance of the membranes is gradual and does not seem to be associated with increased autophagic activity in the cell. A second series of injections of phenobarbital to previously induced rats—exhibiting normal drug-hydroxylating activity but an excess of liver endoplasmic membranes—is associated with a stimulation of the rate of Pi32 incorporation into microsomal phospholipid in vivo, similar to that found during the original induction process. Administration of Actinomycin D following a single phenobarbital injection delays the regression of the enhanced drug-hydroxylating activity. Finally, the effects of Actinomycin D and puromycin on the stimulated membrane formation are discussed.

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