Alterations of cell surface glycoconjugates have been observed in many developing systems and may be important in the physiological control of growth and differentiation. Liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy is a suitable model in which to study the regulatory mechanisms of cell proliferation in vivo. We have isolated the sinusoidal plasma membrane of hepatocytes at different times after partial hepatectomy. The sialic acid content and the SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis pattern of glycoproteins were determined. A decrease of periodic acid-Schiff-profiles, a change in the binding capacities of 125I-concanavalin A, a reduction of the sialic acid content and the appearance and disappearance of specific components have been observed during the pre-replicative phase of liver regeneration. These findings during this early period are consistent with the active involvement of the plasma membrane glycoproteins in the transition of cells to the proliferative state.