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Total lipid, total phospholipid and total fatty acid patterns of the anterior hypophysis, blood plasma and liver of foetuses and their dams at 4- and 8-month gestation intervals were determined.

Differences in total lipid and total phospholipid between foetuses of different ages and their dams were not significant, and the differences in total fatty acid pattern among the foetuses and among the dams were minor at either time.

Differences were significant in the total fatty acid patterns between the foetuses and their dams. The differences were mostly in the concentrations of the linoleic acid (C 18:2ω6), linolenic acid (C 18:3ω3) and oleic acid (C 18:1ω9) families of fatty acids. The concentration of linoleic acid in various tissues of the dam was significantly higher than in the foetus, but arachidonic acid (C 20:4ω6, a major metabolite of linoleic acid) was significantly lower in the plasma and liver of the dam than in the foetus; in the anterior hypophysis the differences were not significant.

Linolenic acid (C 18:3ω3) was either absent or present in trace amounts (<0·1%) in the foetal tissues; in the dam it was present in significant amounts (1·5 to 5%).

In the dams, oleic acid concentration was significantly lower than in the foetus in the plasma and anterior hypophysis and somewhat higher in the liver.

Microscopic examination of the anterior hypophysis of the foetus showed mainly undifferentiated chromophobes with a few sparsely granulated acidophil cells; in the dam, the gland was composed mainly of clumps of acidophils and a few chromophobes.