The last few years have witnessed an explosion of both interest and knowledge about apoptosis, the process by which a cell actively commits suicide. It is now well recognised that apoptosis is essential in many aspects of normal development and is required for maintaining tissue homeostasis. The molecular mechanisms of apoptosis are presently unknown and the subject of focused research effort. It is clear that cell membrane structure and properties play an early part in the induction process. There is increasing evidence that the arrangement of polar lipids in the membrane lipid matrix is an important factor coupled with the homeostatic mechanisms responsible for preserving membrane lipid composition and asymmetry. Changes in membrane permeability are also likely to be involved, possibly as a direct consequence of disturbances in the lipid bilayer matrix. The purpose of this volume is to examine the involvement of membrane lipids in early events of apoptosis. In particular, the role of phospholipids in mitochondrial permeability, membrane lipid asymmetry, and sphingolipid and phospholipid signalling processes in early apoptotic events are reviewed by current researchers in these fields.