The body weight and feed intake of rats fed on a Zn-deficient diet for 28 d were reduced compared with those of control rats. The feed intakes of the Zn-deficient and control groups during the period were 10·2 (SE 0·3) and 15·7 (SE 0·2) g/d respectively. Cyclic variations in feed intake and body-weight changes were found in analysis not only of all the data for five rats but also that in each individual rat. Cosinor analysis revealed that the cyclical period of both the feed intake and body-weight change in the Zn-deficient rats was 3·5 (SE 0·1) d. The mesor and amplitude value of the feed intake in the Zn-deficient rats was 10 1 (SE 0·4) g/d and 3·5 (SE 0·5) g/d respectively, and that of body-weight change was 1·4 (SE 0·1) g/d and 7·9 (SE 1·3) gObihiro d respectively. Among pyrimidine-catabolizing enzymes, dihydropyrimidinase (EC184.108.40.206) activity showed significantretardation in the Zn-deficient rat liver with decrease of the enzyme protein. The ratio of apo-form to holo-form dihydropyrimidinase in the liver was not affected by the Zn-deficient diet.