1. The development of the total rat brain creatine kinase was studied in brain homogenates. Until approx. 14-15 days after birth, the activity remains less than one-third that of the adult activity (207+/-6 units/g wet wt. s.d.; n=3). Over the next 10 days the activity increases markedly to the adult value and thereafter remains essentially constant. 2. In the adult brain, approx. 5% (11.9+/-2.2 units/g wet wt. s.d.; n=5) of the total creatine kinase is associated with the mitochondrial fraction. This creatine kinase could not be solubilized by sodium acetate solutions of up to 0.8m concentration, whereas 66% of the hexokinase associated with brain mitochondria was released under these conditions. 3. Rat brain mitochondria incubated in the presence of various concentrations of creatine (1, 5 and 10mm) and ADP (100mum) synthesized phosphocreatine at rates of approx. 4.5, 11 and 17.5nmol/min per mg of mitochondrial protein. Atractyloside (50mum) or oligomycin (1.5mug/mg of mitochondrial protein) completely inhibited the synthesis of phosphocreatine. 4. The apparent K(m) and V(max.) values of the mitochondrially bound rat brain creatine kinase were determined in both directions. The V(max.) in the direction of phosphocreatine synthesis is 237nmol/min per mg of mitochondrial protein, with an apparent K(m) for creatine of 1.67mm and for MgATP(2-) of 0.1mm, and in the reverse direction V(max.) is 489nmol/min per mg of mitochondrial protein, with an apparent K(m) for phosphocreatine of 0.4mm and for MgADP(-) of 27mum. 5. The results are discussed with reference to the role that the mitochondrially bound creatine kinase may play in the development of brain energy metabolism.