1. The regulation of glucose uptake and disposition in skeletal muscle was studied in the isolated perfused rat hindquarter. 2. Insulin and exercise, induced by sciatic-nerve stimulation, enhanced glucose uptake about tenfold in fed and starved rats, but were without effect in rats with diabetic ketoacidosis. 3. At rest, the oxidation of lactate (0.44 mumol/min per 30 g muscle in fed rats) was decreased by 75% in both starved and diabetic rats, whereas the release of alanine and lactate (0.41 and 1.35 mumol/min per 30 g respectively in the fed state) was increased. Glycolysis, defined as the sum of lactate+alanine release and lactate oxidation, was not decreased in either starvation or diabetes. 4. In all groups, exercise tripled O2 consumption (from approximately 8 to approximately 25 mumol/min per 30 g of muscle) and increased the release and oxidation of lactate five- to ten-fold. The differences in lactate release between fed, starved and diabetic rats observed at rest were no longer apparent; however, lactate oxidation was still several times greater in the fed group. 5. Perfusion of the hindquarter of a fed rat with palmitate, octanoate or acetoacetate did not alter glucose uptake or lactate release in either resting or exercising muslce; however, lactate oxidation was significantly inhibited by acetoacetate, which also increased the intracellular concentration of acetyl-CoA. 6. The data suggest that neither that neither glycolysis nor the capacity for glucose transport are inhbitied in the perfused hindquarter during starvation or perfusion with fatty acids or ketone bodies. On the other hand, lactate oxidation is inhibited, suggesting diminished activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase. 7. Differences in the regulation of glucose metabolism in heart and skeletal muscle and the role of the glucose/fatty acid cycle in each tissue are discussed.

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