||Hepatocyte nodules in the rat exhibit a unique biochemical pattern which is characterized by a decrease in Phase I and an increase in Phase II components of the drug-metabolizing system. The present study was designed to determine whether this biochemical pattern is unique for rat hepatocyte nodules or is a property of the liver cell, but expressed only when the liver cell is perturbed. The results obtained indicate that lead nitrate (5 or 10 mumol/100 g body wt), an inducer of liver cell proliferation, caused a decrease in Phase I components such as microsomal cytochromes P-450 and in the activity of aminopyrine N-demethylase, while it caused an increase in Phase II components such as glutathione, and in the activities of glutathione-S-transferase and DT-diaphorase in rat liver. Of particular interest was the finding in liver cytosol of lead-treated rats of an increased content of a polypeptide which cross-reacts with the anti-rat placental form of glutathione-S-transferase. Recently, it has been shown that rat hepatocyte nodules exhibited an increased content of the placental form of glutathione-S-transferase. Thus, the results suggest that some chemicals, such as lead nitrate, can induce in rat liver a biochemical pattern similar in certain respects to that exhibited by hepatic nodules. These chemicals may be used as model compounds to understand the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the induction of new and unique biochemical machinery seen in hepatic nodules.