The increased iron content in livers from iron-loaded rats is almost exclusively confined to the mitochondria. The ten- to twenty-fold higher level of nonheme iron in such mitochondria decreases the respiratory control with pyruvate-malate, but not with 3-hydroxybutyrate or succinate as substrates, and has no effect on the capacity for phosphorylation and substrate oxidation. Iron-loaded mitochondria have a malondialdehyde level which is about three times higher than that of control mitochondria, even after repeated washings with bovine serum albumin and EDTA. This is suggestive of an on-going process of lipid oxidation presumably catalyzed by the accumulated iron. Differences between the present in vivo data and in vitro results obtained by others are discussed.