Experimental mastitis was induced in cows by intramammary infusion of endotoxin, Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus agalactiae. The inflammatory response was monitored by somatic cell counting and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGase). NAGase activity was analysed in fresh milk samples in parallel with samples treated by a cycle of freezing and thawing combined with detergent treatment to release the cell-bound NAGase. Before the udder reacted by inflammation, the total NAGase activity consisted of free extracellular activity. Later on when the inflammation was established, much of the milk NAGase remained sequestered intracellularly. S agalactiae was linked with a high degree of cellular NAGase sequestration indicating a blockage of the lysosomal release function from the phagocytes. S aureus delayed the inflammatory response.