Exposure of serum-deprived confluent monolayers of chick embryo cells to fresh serum results in maximal stimulation of synthesis of RNA and protein followed by increased DNA synthesis and mitosis. The addition of insulin to quiescent cultures effects a similar acceleration of synthesis of RNA and protein, but little stimulation of DNA synthesis and mitosis is evident. However, the simultaneous addition of insulin and hydrocortisone to resting cells causes a significant increase in the rate of DNA synthesis although the level reached is considerably lower than that obtained with serum and still no mitosis occurs. Unexpectedly, insulin plus hydrocortisone prevents maximal synthesis of RNA and protein in contrast to insulin-treated cultures. Nuclear autoradiography and percent mitosis of cells incubated with various regulatory factors indicate that cell heterogeneity exists and is reflected in the metabolic responses of subpopulations to specific regulatory signals.

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