Growth and differentiation of the pancreatic acinar cell was studied in rats fed raw soya flour (RSF) for up to a year. A second group of rats were fed a control diet. After 1 week of RSF feeding there was a 200% increase in tissue RNA and weight, indicating initial hypertrophy, which was maintained for the 1-year study period. By the second week and over the remainder of the period studied there was also a marked increase in total DNA, suggesting hyperplasia. Cell turnover, as measured by the rate of incorporation of 3H-thymidine into pancreatic DNA, was significantly higher in RSF-fed animals only from the second to fourth weeks; it then returned to control values. Autoradiography showed an 18-fold increase in duct cell labeling at the end of the first week and an 11-fold increase by the end of the second week. Acinar cell labeling doubled from the second to the twelfth week. These studies confirm previous reports that RSF produces pancreatic hypertrophy and hyperplasia. They furthermore show that there is initially marked stimulation of DNA synthesis in the duct cell compartment. The results suggest that cells with the morphologic characteristics of duct cells may be the precursors of acinar cells in hyperplastic pancreatic tissue.