The effect of thioacetamide on dividing cells of regenerating rat liver has been studied. Rats were given daily subcutaneous injections of thioacetamide as a 1 per cent solution at a dosage of 5 mg./100 gm. body weight for 7 to 10 days, subjected to partial hepatectomy, and sacrificed 28 to 31 hours later.
Thioacetamide treatment results in striking increases in the nuclear ribonucleoproteins of the liver cell without affecting the mitotic rate during regeneration (14). During mitosis, RNA-containing particles were seen within the spindle and coating the contracted chromosomes from prophase through metaphase or early anaphase. At telophase, prior to the reconstruction of the nuclear membrane, fine RNA-containing granules appeared within the compact chromosomal groups. These coalesced to form nucleoli corresponding in number to the number of nucleolar organizer regions. The nuclei and nucleoli showed a rapid increase in size during the reconstruction period when compared with corresponding figures of the control liver samples.
Electron micrographs of interphase nucleoli indicated a similar basic granular structure in both drug-treated and control animals.
The question is raised as to whether the increased nucleolar material merely made visible some of the nucleolar-chromosomal associations that normally occur in mitosis, or whether thioacetamide directly affects the synthetic activity of the contracted mitotic chromosomes.