1. The activities of 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase and 3-oxo acid CoA-transferase in rat brain at birth were found to be about two-thirds of those of adult rat brain, expressed per g wet wt. The activities rose throughout the suckling period and at the time of weaning reached values about three times higher than those for adult brain. Later they gradually declined. 2. At birth the activity of acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase in rat brain was about 60% higher than in the adult. During the suckling period there was no significant change in activity. 3. In rat kidney the activities of the three enzymes at birth were less than one-third of those at maturity. They gradually rose and after 5 weeks approached the adult value. Similar results were obtained with rat heart. 4. The activity of glutamate dehydrogenase (a mitochondrial enzyme like 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase and 3-oxo acid CoA-transferase) also rose in brain and kidney during the suckling period, but at no stage did it exceed the adult value. 5. Throughout the suckling period the total ketone-body concentration in the blood was about six times higher than in adult fed rats, and the concentration of free fatty acids in the blood was three to four times higher. 6. It is concluded that the rate of ketone-body utilization in brains of suckling rats is determined by both the greater amounts of the key enzymes in the tissue and the high concentrations of ketone bodies in the blood. In addition, the low activities of the relevant enzymes in kidney and heart of suckling rats may make available more ketone bodies for the brain.

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