TNF is cytotoxic to tumor cell lines but enhances growth of some nontransformed cells. Because animals administered TNF have an increase in liver size, we studied the [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA in the liver of intact rats. A significant increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation is seen 20 hours following TNF administration and peaks at 24 hours. The lowest dose of TNF that increases DNA synthesis is 10 micrograms/200 g rat with a maximal increase occurring with 25 micrograms/200 g, considerably less than the dose required for maximally increasing plasma triglycerides. The increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation was shown to be due to an increase in DNA polymerase alpha activity (associated with the replication of DNA) rather than DNA polymerases beta (associated with DNA repair) plus gamma activity. These results indicate that TNF administration stimulates DNA replication in the liver of intact animals.