The distribution of carbon-11-labeled L-deprenyl, an irreversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B), was determined in the baboon brain by positron emission tomography. The irreversible blood-to-brain transfer constant (influx constant, Ki) was measured using a complete metabolite-corrected arterial plasma concentration curve. This influx constant was used as a measure of functional enzyme activity for sequential determinations of MAO-B recovery following a single high dose of unlabeled L-deprenyl. The half-life for turnover of MAO-B was thus determined to be 30 days. Using appropriate irreversible inhibitors, this procedure should be generally useful for determining enzyme turnover rates in any organ in vivo and can be applied to some human studies as well.