Free D-aspartic acid is present in appreciable quantities in the brain and other tissues of rodents and in human blood. In the newborn rat, the highest concentration of D-aspartic acid was found in cerebral hemispheres, where, at 164 nmol/g (8.4% of the total aspartic acid), the level of D-aspartic acid exceeds that of many essential L-amino acids. The highest ratio of D- to total aspartic acid (38%) occurred in neonatal blood cells. In the adult rat, the highest concentration was present in the pituitary gland (127 nmol/g, 3.8%). Within the central nervous system marked regional differences are present and characteristic changes with development take place. In general, the levels of D-aspartic acid fall rapidly with increasing age. In cerebral hemispheres adult values (13 nmol/g, 0.43%) are approached within one week. D-aspartic acid concentrations may also be higher in young humans since fetal blood, taken from placental cord, contains 2.6 nmol/g (4.9%) of D-aspartic acid, a value five times that of adult human blood. These distributional patterns and developmental changes may be the result of differences in the ability of various tissues to dispose of an extraneous metabolite, or, reflect alterations in a specific functional requirement for D-aspartic acid.