Certain tissue constituents inhibitory to cell growth, extracted from liver, are described. The findings indicate that inhibitory material is adsorbed to colloids in the native state and is freed from them by alcohol extraction. One inhibitor, ethanolamine, has been isolated. This substance differs in its biological properties from the bulk of the inhibitory material present in liver. Progress in purification of other inhibitors is described, and it is shown that inhibition by these extracts is not correlated with surface activity or with the presence of pigmented constituents.
The inhibitors have common properties which suggest that they are of physiological significance in the regulation of growth: action over a wide range of concentrations at which other cell functions are undamaged; reversibility of action; presence in adult liver in concentrations near those which inhibit growth in vitro, while in embryo liver they are found only in much lower concentrations.