Significant differences in the uptake of thymidine-3H, percentage of labeled cells, numbers of grains per labeled nucleus, and mitotic rate were noted in rat corneal epithelium along a 24-hr time scale. These were demonstrated by injecting subgroups of five animals every hour during a 24-hr period with thymidine-3H, sacrificing them 2 hr later, and analyzing the corneal epithelium by scintillation counter and radioautographic techniques. The increase in uptake during specific periods of the 24-hr time scale is attributed to an acceleration in the rate of DNA synthesis by individual cells and to an increase in the percentage of cells in the population actively synthesizing DNA.

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