Hepatocytes were isolated from adult rats at various times after subcutaneous injection of turpentine (1 ml). The affinity to concanavalin A (Con A) of alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and the intracellular content and rate of secretion of AGP and albumin were evaluated over a period of 19 days. Inflamed hepatocytes secreted mainly the Con A-reactive form of AGP whereas control hepatocytes secreted a higher amount of the Con A-non-reactive form. The intracellular content and rate of secretion of AGP by inflamed hepatocytes increased markedly whereas those of albumin decreased. However, when the residence time (ratio of intracellular content to rate of secretion) was evaluated, it appeared that the efficiency of secretion of both proteins was higher than in control hepatocytes. The changes in the affinity of AGP to Con A and in the secretion of AGP and albumin were reversible. These findings indicate that acute inflammation leads to posttranslational alterations during the intracellular transit of these secretory proteins.