It has been demonstrated that the content of the collagen type I is more affected by both chronic low protein diet feeding and chronic food deprivation (50% food intake) than the content of collagen type III. By introducing these dietary regimes the proportion of collagen type I to collagen type III ratio drops from 2.1 to 1.3 indicating the higher proportion of collagen type III in the skin at the end of the experiment (after 18 months of chronic feeding). It was also observed that the total concentration of hydroxyproline (hyp) in the skin decreases considerably in both food restricted animals and those fed a low protein diet. It is suggested that, under the present experimental conditions, the balance between collagen break-down and synthesis is shifted and, furthermore, that this shift is different for collagen type I and III and results in an altered ratio of these two collagen species in the skin. Refeeding of animals leads to a higher than normal collagen type I to III ratio indicating thus a relatively higher proportion of collagen type I in this tissue.