In the 17-day-old myelinating mouse brain the site of sulfogalactosyl glycerolipid synthesis and the kinetics of its subcellular distribution were studied by a 2 h pulse-labeling with [35S]sulfate followed by a 4 h chase of [35S]sulfogalactosyl glycerolipid. At several time intervals after the intraperitoneal [35S]sulfate injection, subcellular fractions of brain were obtained by differential and discontinuous sucrose gradient centrifugation. The crude microsomal membrane fraction (17 500 X g supernatant) was further subfractionated into light myelin, plasma membranes, Golgi vesicles, endoplasmic reticulum membranes and heavy vesicles associated with acid hydrolase activities. The results of the [35S]sulfogalactosyl glycerolipid labeling kinetics indicate that these lipids are synthesized in the Golgi-endoplasmic reticulum complex and transferred in vesicles associated with lysosomes to the myelin membranes. During this transfer part of the sulfogalactosyl glycerolipids appears to be degraded, similarly as described for brain sulfatides. This double function of lysosomes may be part of a general regulation mechanism of brain myelin glycolipid content.