Abstract Plasma concentrations of total ketone bodies, acetoacetate (AcAc) and 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-OHBA) in monosodium glutamate (MSG)-induced obese rats were measured. MSG-treated rats showed higher Lee's indices, shorter naso-anal and tail length, and a more marked intraperitoneal fat deposition than control rats. Plasma concentrations of glucose, free fatty acid, triglyceride and phospholipids were significantly increased in the MSG-treated rats as compared to the control rats (24 weeks-old). Plasma levels of total ketone bodies, AcAc and 3-OHBA were all decreased in the MSG-treated rats as compared to control rats. The ratio, 3-OHBA/AcAc in the MSG-treated rats were not different from those in the control rats.