Prior studies with carbonic anhydrase (CA) inhibitors implicated mitochondrial CA in ureagenesis and gluconeogenesis. Subsequent studies identified two mitochondrial CAs. To distinguish the contribution of each enzyme, we studied the effects of targeted disruption of the murine CA genes, called Car5A and Car5B. The Car5A mutation had several deleterious consequences. Car5A null mice were smaller than wild-type littermates and bred poorly. However, on sodium-potassium citrate-supplemented water, they produced offspring in expected numbers. Their blood ammonia concentrations were markedly elevated, but their fasting blood sugars were normal. By contrast, Car5B null mice showed normal growth and normal blood ammonia levels. They too had normal fasting blood sugars. Car5A/B double-knockout (DKO) mice showed additional abnormalities. Impaired growth was more severe than for Car5A null mice. Hyperammonemia was even greater as well. Although fertile, DKO animals were produced in less-than-predicted numbers even when supplemented with sodium-potassium citrate in their drinking water. Survival after weaning was also reduced, especially for males. In addition, fasting blood glucose levels for DKO mice were significantly lower than for controls (153 ± 33 vs. 230 ± 24 mg/dL). The enhanced hyperammonemia and lower fasting blood sugar, which are both seen in the DKO mice, indicate that both Car5A and Car5B contribute to both ammonia detoxification (ureagenesis) and regulation of fasting blood sugar (gluconeogenesis). Car5A, which is expressed mainly in liver, clearly has the predominant role in ammonia detoxification. The contribution of Car5B to ureagenesis and gluconeogenesis was evident only on a Car5A null background.