Brains of the mouse from three developmental stages, embryo day 16 (Ed16), postnatal stage one week (1W) and eight weeks (8W), were distributed to different laboratories for a collaborative proteome analysis (The Human Brain Proteome Project). As one of the laboratories involved in this project, we separated total protein extracts of the brains by large gel 2-DE. From the 2-DE protein patterns a section was evaluated for each of the three stages according to resolution, reproducibility and quantitative changes using an image analysis software. The evaluated pattern section was selected to allow comparisons of 2-DE patterns between different laboratories on the basis of optimum separation. Changes in protein expression were analysed within two phases of development: Stage Ed16 versus stage 1W and stage 1W versus stage 8W. Out of the 200 protein spots evaluated 5-6% showed quantitative changes in the range of > or = 30% between two stages. The relationship in the frequency of up- and down-regulated protein spots differed between the two investigated phases. Most of the protein spots which showed altered expression between two stages were identified by MS. High quality in protein separation and evaluation is demonstrated.