The influence of neonatal hyper- and hypothyroidism on plasma dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) activity was studied in young rats from 5 to 30 days of extrauterine life. In the newborn rat, plasma DBH activity was four times higher than in the adult. In the control animals, the enzymatic activity increased for 15 days after birth and then decreased. In the hyperthyroid rats the first part of this evolution (i.e. the neonatal increase) is accelerated, while in hypothyroidism the following decrease is retarded. The significance of these changes is discussed in relation to the functional development of the sympathetic nervous system.

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