Brain levels of the 5-S-cysteinyl adducts of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and dopamine were determined in several mammalian species. The low levels of the compounds and the risk of artifacts during sample preparation necessitated rather profound modifications of the assaying method. The refined method has made it possible to present more accurate data than those previously reported from this laboratory. The occurrence of low levels of the 5-S-cysteinyl adducts in dopamine-rich brain areas, but not in cerebellum, is indirect evidence of in vivo autoxidation of DOPA, DOPAC, and dopamine. The products generated during catechol autoxidation, including quinones and reduced forms of oxygen, are known to be potentially cytotoxic.