The aim of the present work was to assess the influence of dietary lipid source on fatty acid phospholipid profiles and on lipid mobilization. Forty male Wistar rats were divided into four groups and fed on high-fat diets which provided olive oil, sunflower oil, palm oil or beef tallow. All rats received the same amount of energy to avoid hyperphagia and differences in energy intake among groups. Phospholipid fatty acids were determined by GC. Lipolysis was stimulated in subcutaneous and perirenal isolated adipocytes by several lipolytic agents, and assessed by the determination of released glycerol. After 4 weeks of feeding, differences in body and adipose tissue weights were not observed. Dietary regimens caused great changes in adipose tissue phospholipid composition: rats fed on palm oil and beef tallow had higher concentrations of saturated fatty acids and animals fed on olive oil or sunflower oil had greater amounts of oleic and linoleic acids, respectively. These modifications did not lead to important changes in adipocyte lipolysis. Significant differences were only observed between palm-oil- and beef-tallow-fed groups when lipolysis was stimulated by isoproterenol in subcutaneous adipocytes. The fact that our feeding protocol did not induce differences in fat accumulation among groups avoids misinterpretations due to adiposity changes. The differences observed between both saturated-fat-fed groups, therefore, should only be attributable to dietary lipids. Despite this effect, the data from this work indicate that some diet-induced changes in adipose tissue fatty acid composition may have little effect on overall function.