Aluminum injection in rabbits leads to neurofibrillary changes which are at light microscopic level similar to those found in Alzheimer's disease. We used this animal model to see whether changes in proteolytic activity occur that may affect protein degradation in the altered neurofibrillary structure. Rabbits were injected via the cisterna magna with aluminum chloride, and after ten days tissue was excised from the spinal cord, hippocampus, occipital lobe, and cerebellum. Sections from the hippocampus and spinal cord were examined for neurofibrillary changes; enzyme activity was measured in all four areas. The enzymes studied were cathepsins A, B, and D, and the angiotensin-converting enzyme. No significant differences could be established in enzymatic activity in aluminum-injected animals compared to controls. However, a significant decrease in Triton-soluble proteins was observed in the treated animals, which correlated with changes in neurofibrillary structure. This decrease was most noticeable in the spinal cord (from 16.6 to 12.5 mg/g).