A quantitative method allowing determination of glucose metabolism in vivo in muscles and white adipose tissue of the anaesthetized rat is presented. A tracer dose of 2-deoxy[3H]glucose was injected intravenously in an anaesthetized rat and the concentration of 2-deoxy[3H]glucose was monitored in arterial blood. After 30-80 min, three muscles, the soleus, the extensor digitorum longus and the epitrochlearis, periovarian white adipose tissue and brain were sampled and analysed for their content of 2-deoxy[3H]glucose 6-phosphate. This content could be related to glucose utilization during the same time period, since (1) the integral of the decrease of 2-deoxy[3H]glucose in arterial blood was known and (2) correction factors for the analogue effect of 2-deoxyglucose compared with glucose in the transport and phosphorylation steps were determined from experiments in vitro. Glucose utilization was then measured by this technique in the tissues of post-absorptive rats in the basal state (0.1 munit of insulin/ml of plasma) or during euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic glucose clamp (8 munits of insulin/ml of plasma) and of 48 h-starved rats. Results corresponded qualitatively and quantitatively to the known physiological characteristics of the tissues studied.

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