A reduced protein diet (RPD) is known to increase the level of intramuscular lipid in pig meat with a smaller effect on the amount of subcutaneous adipose tissue. This might be due to tissue-specific activation of the expression of lipogenic enzymes by the RPD. The present study investigated the effect of a RPD, containing palm kernel oil, soyabean oil or palm oil on the activity and expression of one of the major lipogenic enzymes, stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) and on the level of total lipids and the fatty acid composition of muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue in pigs. The RPD significantly increased SCD protein expression and activity in muscle but not in subcutaneous adipose tissue. The level of MUFA and total fatty acids in muscle was also elevated when the RPD was fed, with only small changes in subcutaneous adipose tissue. A positive significant correlation between SCD protein expression and total fatty acids in muscle was found. The results suggest that an increase in intramuscular but not subcutaneous adipose tissue fatty acids under the influence of a RPD is related to tissue-specific activation of SCD expression. It is suggested that the SCD isoform spectra in pig subcutaneous adipose tissue and muscle might be different.