This report describes fine structural changes of interphase nuclei of human peripheral blood lymphocytes stimulated to growth by short-term culture with phytohemagglutinin. Chromatin is found highly labile, its changes accompanying the sequential increases of RNA and DNA synthesis which are known to occur in lymphocyte cultures. In "resting" lymphocytes, abundant condensed chromatin appears as a network of large and small aggregates. Early in the response to phytohemagglutinin, small aggregates disappear during increase of diffuse chromatin regions. Small aggregates soon reappear, probably resulting from disaggregation of large masses of condensed chromatin. Loosened and highly dispersed forms then appear prior to the formation of prophase chromosomes. The loosened state is found by radioautography to be most active in DNA synthesis. Small nucleoli of resting lymphocytes have concentric agranular, fibrillar, and granular zones with small amounts of intranucleolar chromatin. Enlarging interphase nucleoli change chiefly (1) by increase in amount of intranucleolar chromatin and alteration of its state of aggregation and (2) by increase in granular components in close association with fibrillar components.

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