Creatine kinase (CK), transglutaminase (TGase) and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), enzymes implicated in the regulation of growth processes, were studied during muscle regeneration subsequent to the injection of bupivacaine into rat tibialis anterior. Within 2 days, the percent BB isozyme of CK detected in the muscle was elevated 70-fold coincident with a marked decrease in total CK activity. The MB isozyme also increased and was 15-fold of control at 4-5 days postinjection. TGase activity was increased significantly to greater than 2-fold of control within 2 days of injection and significantly decreased at days 3 through 7 compared to controls. ODC activity was elevated significantly to 2- to 3-fold of control from 2-7 days after injection. These results suggest an early alteration in the expression of a coordinated battery of genes in this model of muscle degeneration-regeneration. The increased expression of MB and BB isozymes of CK in various human neuromuscular diseases may be a manifestation of an ongoing process of degeneration-regeneration.