Serum proteins from hepatectomized or control rats were separated by gel permeation chromatography and assayed for stimulation of hepatocyte proliferation in primary cultures of hepatocytes. Two peaks of activity were seen in the areas of large (>120,000) and small (<3,000) molecular weight. These activities are different from insulin, epidermal growth factor, or vasopressin and are empirically termed hepatopoietin A and B, respectively. The two activities interact in a synergistic manner to stimulate hepatocyte proliferation at rates comparable to that of the whole serum.

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The work described in this paper was supported by NIH Grant CA35373.

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