The effect of oestradiol treatment on the acetylation of histones of the immature rat uterus has been studied. A 10μg dose of oestradiol causes a 70% increase at 5min and a 140% increase at 10min after administration in the labelling of the histone fraction F2+F3. No effect of oestradiol is seen on the labelling of histones F1 or acidic non-histone chromatin proteins. The oestradiol stimulation is seen in animals pretreated with either cycloheximide or actinomycin D. The stimulation of labelling caused by oestradiol is completely abolished by pretreatment of the animals with the anti-oestrogen, nafoxidine. The stimulation is given by lower doses of oestradiol, by stilboestrol and oestriol, but is not given by testosterone. These results suggest that stimulation of histone acetylation in the uterus is the earliest known effect of the hormone on its target tissue.

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