A quantitative cytochemical method was developed for measuring the GSH (reduced glutathione) content of hepatocytes in different regions of the rat liver lobule. Use of this method enabled us to show that GSH is not evenly distributed within the rat liver lobule. The hepatocytes located within 100 micrometer of the central vein contain much less GSH than do those in other regions of the rat liver lobule. We suggest that this partially explains the peculiar susceptibility of these cells to electrophilic attack by toxic metabolites formed via the microsomal cytochrome P-450 system.

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