The distribution and redox state of ubiquinone in rat and human tissues have been investigated. A rapid extraction procedure and direct injection onto HPLC were employed. It was found in model experiments that in postmortem tissue neither oxidation nor reduction of ubiquinone occurs. In rat the highest concentrations of ubiquinone-9 were found in the heart, kidney, and liver (130-200 micrograms/g). In brain, spleen, and intestine one-third and in other tissues 10-20% of the total ubiquinone contained 10 isoprene units. In human tissues ubiquinone-10 was also present at highest concentrations in heart, kidney, and liver (60-110 micrograms/g), and in all tissues 2-5% of the total ubiquinone contained 9 isoprene units. High levels of reduction, 70-100%, could be observed in human tissues, with the exception of brain and lung. The extent of reduction displayed a similar pattern in rat, but was generally lower.