We have used a histochemical technique to study cellular mosaicism in the livers of female mice heterozygous for an abnormal form of the X-linked enzyme ornithine carbamoyltransferase. The proportion of cells expressing the normal enzyme was found to be consistent within a liver lobe, but discordant between lobes, with as few as 4% or as many as 91% of cells being enzyme positive. Systematic observation of variation of the proportion of positive cells in different lobes of 12 mice was used to calculate the primordial pool size for each lobe and for the liver as a whole. Although confidence limits for this small study are wide, the data suggest that the liver pool is about 15 cells, and that it enlarges to at least 50 cells before subdividing into six lobe pools ranging in size from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of at least 14 cells.

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