This is an investigation of the effect of nutritional stress at various ages on the levels of the p- and m-isomers of tyramine in the caudate nucleus of the rat. For comparison, the effects of nutritional stress on the concentration and turnover of dopamine were also studied. Nutritional stress induced in pre-weaning (3 weeks of age) or post-weaning (up to 9 weeks of age) rats resulted in a decrease in the concentration of p-tyramine and an increase in the concentration of m-tyramine in the caudate nucleus. Dopamine concentration or turnover in the caudate nucleus was not affected by pre-weaning undernutrition; in the olfactory tubercles, however, a significant decrease was observed in dopamine turnover, calculated from the decrease in homovanillic acid levels after monoamine oxidase inhibition. The results suggest the changes observed are dependent on the availability of the amino acid precursors p- and m-tyrosine and their competition towards aromatic-L-amino acid decarboxylase.