Effects of growth hormone on phospholipid composition and fatty acyl distribution were studied in liver mitochondria of hypophysectomized rats. After hypophysectomy, only cardiolipin showed a 25% decrease. Its fatty acyl distribution, which consisted mainly of linoleic acid (55–60%) and oleic acid (20%), was unchanged. In phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine fractions the contents of docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids were decreased with a concomitant increase in linoleic acid content. These changes could be accounted for by small but significant decreases in the activities of Δ9-desaturase (sucrose-induced), Δ5-desaturase and mitochondrial elongation enzymes. The activities of Δ6-desaturase NADH cytochrome b5 ferri-reductase, cytochrome b5, NADH cytochrome c reductase and microsomal elongation enzymes remained virtually unchanged. Injection of bovine growth hormone daily for seven days restored cardiolipin and fatty acyl distribution and the enzyme activities. From these and other results, we conclude that growth hormone-dependent increase of respiratory activity of liver mitochondria may be partly mediated by the hormonal effects on membrane lipid distribution.