Four diets containing 20% of energy (en%) as fat and with linoleic acid contents of 1.9, 3.1, 7.7 and 10.1 en%, respectively, were fed to one-month-old male rats for three months. The fatty acid profiles and the levels of the major n-6 and n-3 fatty acids in the lipids of plasma, liver, heart and kidney were measured. We found that with increasing concentrations of 18:2n-6 in the diet, linoleic acid rose in plasma and in all organs, but long-chain n-6 and n-3 fatty acids responded differently. In liver, arachidonic acid increased and n-3 fatty acids were not significantly affected; in heart, both arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids were progressively reduced; and in kidney, there was no change of n-6 and n-3. The results indicate that incremental changes in dietary linoleate affect the levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in liver and extrahepatic organs differently.