The origin and the structure of the limiting membranes of autophagic vacuoles (AV) in mouse hepatocytes was studied using cytochemical techniques. Autophagocytosis was induced by an intraperitoneal injection of vinblastine (50 mg/kg). Imidazole-buffered osmium tetroxide impregnation was used as a marker for unsaturated fatty acids, and uranyl-lead-copper impregnation for the determination of possible connections of AV membranes with the other cellular membranes. AV membranes stained strongly with both techniques. The staining pattern of AV membranes differed from that of the other cellular membranes. AV's were frequently seen to fuse with vesicles containing very low density lipoprotein particles. No other connections of AV membranes with other cellular membranes were observed. The results suggest that if pre-existing cellular membranes are used in AV formation some kind of transformation must occur in these membranes during AV formation. The content of unsaturated fatty acids appears to be high in AV membranes.