Manometric determinations of cytochrome oxidase activity were carried out on grey matter from the thalamus and anterior horn of cats and monkeys under various experimental conditions. The thalamus of the cat was studied following the degeneration of virtually all the thalamic neurons secondary to decortication. In comparing the deneuronated thalamus with the normal one, it was found that approximately 34 per cent of the cytochrome oxidase activity was contributed by the neurons and the balance by neuroglia and mesodermal tissues which on the operated side remained comparable to that of the normal side. Total activity of the normal thalamus averaged 5.52 units per mg. of dry weight where I unit is defined as the amount of cytochrome oxidase required to produce a net oxygen consumption of 10 c.mm. per hour under the specified conditions of the experiment.
The grey matter of the anterior horns of the spinal cord was isolated by a special technique and its cytochrome oxidase activity was compared with anterior horns in which motoneurons had been stimulated to regenerative activity by section of peripheral nerves. Each animal was studied in relation to an anterior horn which was normal and one in which only the functional state of the motoneurons had been changed. Average normal levels of 2.23 units were found for cat anterior horn and 0.69 units for the monkey. Reductions of cytochrome oxidase activity in the range of 22 to 23 per cent were observed for both cat and monkey following nerve section. In the latter the time sequence was carefully studied in relation to the cytological cycle known as chromatolysis and a virus refractory state previously described by us. It was found that maximal reduction of cytochrome oxidase activity coincided with maximal refractoriness of the cells to poliomyelitis virus (30 to 70 days following nerve section). Neither of these states could be correlated in time with maximal chromatolysis (10 to 15 days).