1. Following partial hepatectomy in the rat, there is a latent period of 1 day during which the rapidly growing organ shows no increase in cell number. Mitosis then begins rapidly, following a brief pre-mitotic period of visible nuclear changes.

2. It can be shown that the increase in cell number during the ensuing 48 hours follows a formula of the type dN/dt = ke-kt., beyond this time it is retarded more than this simplified formula would predict. The average mitosis rate at 1, 2, and 3 day intervals after operation follows the same formula; from this the duration of each mitosis is calculated to be about 49 minutes. It is not necessary to assume that amitotic division plays an important part, and no such divisions have been seen by the writers.

3. The percentage of cells in mitosis in a single hypertrophying liver varies widely from hour to hour, so that a single mitosis count tells nothing about the growth rate. The fluctuations occur at different times in different livers. It appears that no great number of mitoses begin or end simultaneously.

4. Mitoses are evenly distributed throughout the liver and throughout each lobule; there is no preponderance near the bile duct cells.

5. The mean initial mitosis rate (at 24 hours after operation) is 2.13 per cent, and it diminishes from then on. This rate is very similar to that in early embryo heart and tissue cultures of mesenchyme. In individual specimens the rate can be over 8 per cent. This rapid rate occurs without signs of cell dedifferentiation.

This content is only available as a PDF.