Mice of the autoimmune, lymphoproliferative strain MRL/lpr and the congenic, nonlymphoproliferative strain MRL/n were fed one of six diets from weaning on-ward. These mice were sacrificed at 3 or 5 months of age. Low fat diets resulted in lower cholesterol and higher triglyceride levels than did cholesterol-containing high-fat diets. Caloric restriction of MRL/lpr mice was associated with an increased plaque-forming cell response to trinitrophenylated polyacrylamide beads, less lymphoproliferation, and less severe glomerulonephritis. Diet did not affect the incidence of autoimmune vasculitis in MRL/lpr mice sacrificed at 5 months. MRL/lpr mice fed a low-fat, calorically restricted diet from 5 months of age to death lived longer than mice which were fed ad libitum a cholesterol-containing, high-fat diet. At death, MRL/lpr mice fed the former diet had the autoimmune vasculitis which had been evident in mice killed at 5 months, whereas mice fed the latter diet, in addition to the vasculitis, had a high incidence of atherosclerotic lesions of intrarenal and aortic branch arteries.