Proteome analysis in the central nervous system area represents a large and important challenge in drug discovery. One major problem is to obtain representative and well characterized tissues of high quality for analysis. We have used brain tissues from normal mice to study the effect of post mortem time (up to 32 h) and temperature (4°C and room temperature) on protein expression patterns. A number of proteins were identified using mass spectrometry and potential markers were localized. One of the proteins identified, dihydropyrimidinase related protein-2 (DRP-2), occurs as multiple spots in two-dimensional electrophoresis gels. The ratio between the truncated form of DRP-2 (fDRP-2) and full length DRP-2 is suggested as an internal control that can be used as a biomarker of post mortem time and post mortem temperature between unrelated brain protein samples. Results of this study may be useful in future efforts to detect disease specific alterations in proteomic studies of human post mortem brain tissues.