Abstract The hyperphagia and rapid body weight gain normally observed in young obese (ob/ob) mice were abolished by removal of their adrenal glands, whereas food intake and weight gain of lean mice were not significantly affected by adrenalectomy. Adrenalectomy lowered body energy density (kcal/g carcass) in obese mice more than could be attributed to reduced food intake per se, suggesting that their energy expenditure was also increased. In control obese mice, low stimulation of brown adipose tissue by the sympathetic nervous system, as indicated by the low fractional rates of norepinephrine (NE) turnover in their brown adipose tissue may have contributed to the reduced energy expenditure in these animals. Adrenalectomy increased the rates of NE turnover in brown adipose tissue of obese mice to rates nearly equal to those observed in lean mice without affecting NE turnover in this tissue of lean mice. Likewise, removal of the adrenals normalized the low rates of NE turnover in hearts of obese mice without affecting lean mice. Rates of NE turnover in two other organs, white adipose tissue and pancreas, of control and adrenalectomized obese mice were similar to rates observed in lean counterparts. The adrenal may thus contribute to both the hyperphagia and the low energy expenditure by brown adipose tissue that together cause gross obesity in ob/ob mice.