The in vivo uptake in hepatocytes of intravenously injected colloidal gold granules with a diameter of 17 nm or 79 nm and coated with bovine serum albumin or with polyvinyl-pyrrolidone was studied. Irrespective of coating only the 17 nm granules were taken up in hepatocytes. Perivenous hepatocytes did take up much more gold granules than periportal hepatocytes. The gold granules were found in lysosomes around bile canaliculi. Two hours after injection hepatocytes contained the maximal amount of granules. At least a portion of the granules was discharged into the bile. The observed zonal gradient in the uptake of 17 nm gold granules might be caused by the greater supply of granules to the perivenous hepatocytes as a combined result of the higher porosity of the endothelial lining and the smaller number of Kupffer cells with a low endocytic activity in this zone.