The glycosaminoglycan of rat liver can be separated into five distinct fractions; a hyaluronic acid fraction, a heparan sulfate fraction with a molar ratio of sulfate to hexosamine (S/HexN) around 0.7, a heparan sulfate fraction with a S/HexN ratio around 1.4, a dermatan sulfate fraction with a S/HexN ratio near unity, and a dermatan sulfate fraction with a S/HexN ratio around 1.3. Enzymatic analysis of the two dermatan sulfate fractions indicates that they differ significantly in that the high sulfated fraction contains relatively more N-acetylgalactosamine 4,6-bissulfate units (about 26% of the total hexosamine). In experimental injury produced by carbon tetrachloride, the low sulfated fraction increases as much as 9-fold on a dry weight basis, bearing no linear relationship to the amount of the high sulfated fraction which increases only 2-fold. A significant shift is also observed in the levels of the two heparan sulfate fractions. In this case, however, the high sulfated fraction shows a much more pronounced increase than does the low sulfated fraction. On the basis of these observations, it is suggested that for each of the dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate classes there are at least two pools, distinguished by sulfation degree and perhaps by turnover rate and physiological function.