Previous studies have implicated the reticuloendothelial cells of the liver in certain aspects of steroid metabolism. The similarity in the metabolism of steroids and polycyclic hydrocarbons suggested that the nonparenchymal cells possibly play a role in these areas. The present study presents evidence that at least one of the microsomal NADPH-requirig enzymes, benzpyrene hydroxylase, is present in nonparenchymal cells and, furthermore, is "inducible." In adult rats treated with 3-methylcholanthrene or ß-naphthoflavone, the nonparenchymal cells exhibited increases in benzpyrene hydroxylase activity of 17-fold and five-fold, respectively. Treatment with phenobarbital resulted in only a slight increase in enzyme activity. Enzyme activity in parenchymal cells under similar conditions was increased sixfold and fivefold by 3-methylcholanthrene and ß-naphthoflavone, respectively, but not by phenobarbital.

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