Rat liver was homogenized in 0.88 M sucrose. The DNA and total RNA were determined, and the homogenate was fractionated by differential centrifugation. The pellets obtained between 30 minutes at 20,000 g and 180 minutes at 105,000 g were analyzed for RNA and nitrogen. The ribonucleoproteins were determined in the analytical ultracentrifuge. The non-pellet RNA was calculated by difference. The results are reported as amounts per 6.7 x 10-9 mg. of DNA.
In young, growing male rats the amounts of microsomal protein and ribonucleoprotein B (83S) increased with age. Non-pregnant adult females showed less non-pellet RNA and much more ribonucleoprotein C (63S) than did adult males.
During pregnancy both of these cell constituents reverted to levels characteristic for male animals. Starvation for 5 days resulted in a reduction in the mass of liver tissue, the non-pellet RNA, the microsomal protein, and ribonucleoproteins B and C. During recovery from starvation the return of the liver to normal paralleled the rate at which body weight was restored. Treatment with cortisone, 25 mg. per rat per day for 5 days, caused an increase in microsomal protein and a decrease in ribonucleoprotein B. Treatment with 6-mercapto-purine, 50 mg. per kilo per day for 5 days, caused little change in liver composition in either males or females.