Rat hepatocytes, normally not highly pinocytic cells, becomes so after partial hepatectomy when about two-thirds of the liver is removed. Droplets, up to 20 mum in diameter, develop, initially by addition to smaller pinocytic structures and later by fusion with lysosomes. The droplets contain a material with an electron microscope periodicity characteristic of fibrin; they are periodic acid Schiff-positive as is plasma. It is therefore reasonable to consider plasma glycoproteins to be major components of the droplets. The droplets are at all times membrane delimited, an observation possible only after perfusion fixation. The droplets are positive for three lysosomal hydrolases identified cytochemically: acid phosphatase, N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase, and beta-glucuronidase. From light and electron microscopy it is evident that these activities are acquired by fusion with lysosomes, mostly autophagic vacuoles and residual bodies both of which become very numerous after partial hepatectomy. Pinocytic structures are seen relatively infrequently in the hepatocytes of normal rats but a great many are present after partial hepatectomy. They are most easily observed if horseradish peroxidase (HRP) is intravenously injected before sacrifice and sections are incubated for HRP cytochemistry. The low dose of HRP employed (10 mg/100 g body weight) does not induce pinocytosis in controls, either untreated rats or rats subjected to laparotomy, including palpation of the liver. However, in partially hepatectomized rats even a much smaller dose of intravenous HRP (3.3 mg/100 g) visualizes the pinocytic structures in hepatocytes (coated vesicles, channels, cuplike bodies, and droplets). Kupffer cells pinocytose much HRP in both control and partially hepatectomized rats.

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