Rabbits on a high cholesterol diet were divided into three groups: one group received subcutaneous injections of physiological saline 3 times/day, 5 days/wk for 10 wk; another group received subcutaneous injections of L-ascorbic acid (0.37 mmole) according to the same timetable; and the third group was administered an equivalent amount of L-ascorbate 2-sulfate as outlined above. Each week the serum levels of total and free cholesterol and triglycerides were measured. At the end of 10 wk the animals were killed and the cholesterol content of the livers, spleens, and adrenal glands was measured. The aortas were examined for plaque deposition; the deposits were excised and pooled according to groups; and the total mass and cholesterol contents of the pooled plaques were determined. Administration of ascorbic acid or ascorbate 2-sulfate did not prevent hypercholesterolemia or elevated levels of serum triglycerides. No significant differences among the groups were found either in tissue cholesterol levels or in the extent or type of lesions found. Although plaque deposition appeared to be similar in the aortas of these animals, a marked difference was found in total mass and cholesterol content of the plaques: The plaques of the saline-treated group had a total mass and cholesterol content approximately 2.5 times that found in the group injected with ascorbic acid and about 1.5 times that found in the animals treated with ascorbate 2-sulfate. These results indicate that ascorbic acid, in particular, minimizes the total quantity of plaque deposition even though it is ineffective in preventing hypercholesterolemia, elevated serum triglycerides, and accumulation of cholesterol by several tissues.