1. Adult rats were trained to consume the entire day's ration in 2 h. They showed marked difference in food intake when a diet lacking in protein was given. Two broad stages were observed, the first phase did not show any drop in calorie intake whereas the second showed distinct severe calorie deficiency.
2. Definite changes were noted in the metabolic profiles of the protein-deficient group even though no evidence for a fall in calorie intake (stage 1) was provided by the measurements of body and organ weights, urinary end-products, liver constituents and liver enzymes.
3. The levels of urinary end-products and liver DNA and RNA decreased in the proteindeficient and pair-fed control groups compared with the control group.
4. The liver glycogen content remained unchanged in the protein-deficient groups whereas the lipid content and the ratio of vitamin A alcohol to ester increased significantly.
5. The activity of xanthine oxidase in the liver was reduced by 75% in the pair-fed control group and by 95% in the protein-deficient group when compared with the control group. However, the activity of succinic dehydrogenase varied, depending on the unit of activity used to express it.