Abstract The present investigation focuses on the developmental changes in the activity and levels of carbonic anhydrase, adenylate cyclase and 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in the Quaking mouse mutant in different regions of the brain. Carbonic anhydrase activity was found to be lower than normal in the forebrain of the C57/B Quaking mouse. The deficit in forebrain carbonic anhydrase was restricted to subcortical structures and was reflected equally in the membrane and soluble fractions, indicating that neither pool was affected selectively. However, no difference in carbonic anhydrase activity was observed in purified myelin from Quaking and control mice. Investigation of the changes in carbonic anhydrase activity as a function of age showed a cessation in enzyme accumulation in Quaking mice at around 20 days postnatally, suggesting an abnormality in cellular development. A tritiated acetazolamide binding assay was used to quantitate the amount of enzyme present. The amount of carbonic anhydrase parallelled enzyme activity, suggesting that the defect in the Quaking animals was at the level of the control of enzyme synthesis. Similar studies on cyclic AMP metabolism showed a higher than normal adenylate cyclase activity in the upper brain stem region of Quaking mice of ages between 19 and 40 days. Adenylate cyclase activity was stimulated by norepinephrine in both control and Quaking animals. The increased adenylate cyclase activity in the Quaking mice was in contrast to a lower cyclic AMP level and could not be accounted for by an alteration in phosphodiesterase activity.