The morphology of the rat lung was studied by light microscopy in different situations: after surgical and pharmacological castration and after administration of testosterone to the castrated rat to determine if the androgen is required to maintain the normal morphology of the lung. We also determined the effect of flutamide on the phospholipid composition of both the surfactant and microsomes of the lung. Rats were separated into five groups: I - control non-castrated rats, II - castrated rats sacrificed 21 days after castration, III - castrated rats that received testosterone daily from day 2 to day 21 after castration, IV - castrated rats that received testosterone from day 15 to day 21 after castration, and V - control rats injected with flutamide for 7 days. The amount of different phospholipids in the surfactant and microsomes of the lung was measured in group I and V rats. At the light microscopy level, the surgical and pharmacological castration provoked alterations in the morphology of the lung, similar to that observed in human lung emphysema. The compositions of surfactant and microsomes of the lung were similar to those previously reported by us for the surgically castrated rats. These results indicate that androgens are necessary for the normal morphology as well as for some metabolic aspects of the lung.