An animal model of chronic fluorosis was produced by subjecting Wistar rats to high doses of fluoride in drinking water for a prolonged period. Phospholipid and neutral lipid contents in rat kidney were then analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and fatty acid compositions from individual phospholipids were measured by gas chromatography. Lipid peroxidation was detected by the thiobarbituric-acid-reactive substance assay. Results showed that the total phospholipid content significantly decreased in the kidney of the rats treated with high doses of fluoride and the main species influenced were phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC). Decreased proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids were observed in PE and PC in kidney of fluoride-treated animals compared to controls. No changes could be detected in the amounts of cholesterol and dolichol in kidneys between the rats treated with fluoride and controls. A significant decrease of ubiquinone in rat kidney was observed in the groups treated with excessive fluoride. High levels of lipid peroxidation were detected in kidney of the rats with fluorosis. It is plausible that the specific modification of lipid composition results from lipid peroxidation. The oxidative stress and modification of cellular membrane lipids may be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic fluorosis and provide a possible explanation for the gross system damage observed in the body, especially in soft tissues and organs.