ABSTRACT Experimental beta-alaninuria was induced in rats by injection of (aminooxy)acetate (AOA), a potent inhibitor of aminotransferases, in order to elucidate the pathogenesis of hyper-beta-alaninemia. A 27-fold increase of beta-alanine (BALA) excretion was induced by subcutaneous injection of 1 5 mg of AOA per kg of body weight. A 13-fold and a 9-fold increase of beta-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), respectively, were also induced simultaneously by the AOA injection. Identification of BALA and BAIBA isolated from the rat urine was performed by chromatographic and mass spectrometric analyses. The effects of AOA injection on the tissue levels of these amino acids were also studied. Contents of BALA in the liver and kidney and GABA in the brain increased significantly in response to AOA injection. The present study indicates that BALA transaminase is involved in hyper-beta-alaninemia.