Incorporation of 8 mol% lactosylceramide in small unilamellar vesicles consisting of cholesterol, dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine in a molar ratio of 5:4:1 and containing [3H]inulin as an aqueous-space marker resulted in a 3-fold decreased half-life of the vesicles in blood and a corresponding increase in liver uptake after intracardial injection into rats. The increase in liver uptake was mostly accounted for by an enhanced uptake in the parenchymal cells, while the uptake by the non-parenchymal cells was only slightly increased. The uptake of both the control and the glycolipid-containing vesicles by the non-parenchymal cell fraction could be attributed completely to the Kupffer cells; no radioactivity was found in the endothelial cells. The effect of lactosylceramide on liver uptake and blood disappearance of the liposomes was effectively counteracted by desialylated fetuin, injected shortly before the liposome dose. This observation supports the notion that a galactose-specific receptor is involved in the liver uptake of lactosylceramide liposomes.