The exposure of rats to SO/sub 2/ (10 p.p.m.) for one hour daily for 30 days caused depletion of total lipids in all brain areas. The contents of phospholipid were elevated in cerebellum and brain stem, but were depleted in cerebral hemisphere. Cholesterol levels showed an increase in various brain regions. On the other hand, gangliosides were increased in cerebellum and brain stem, but were decreased in cerebral hemisphere. Interestingly, cholesterol/phospholipid ratio was increased in different regions of the brain. Lipase activity was elevated in cerebral hemisphere. Lipid peroxidation showed marked increment in whole brain and in all the brain areas studied. The results suggest that SO/sub 2/-exposure induces degradation of lipids. Interestingly, the lipid contents are affected differentially in the various parts of the brain.