1. In the isolated perfused rat heart, the contractile activity and the oxygen uptake were varied by altering the aortic perfusion pressure, or by the atrial perfusion technique (‘working heart’). 2. The maximum increase in the contractile activity brought about an eightfold increase in the oxygen uptake. The rate of glycolytic flux rose, while tissue contents of hexose monophosphates, citrate, ATP and creatine phosphate decreased, and contents of ADP and AMP rose. 3. The changes in tissue contents of adenine nucleotides during increased heart work were time-dependent. The ATP content fell temporarily (30s and 2min) after the start of left-atrial perfusion; at 5 and 10min values were normal; and at 30 and 60min values were decreased. ADP and AMP values were increased in the first 15min, but were at control values 30 or 60min after the onset of increased heart work. 4. During increased heart work changes in the tissue contents of adenine nucleotide and of citrate appeared to play a role in altered regulation of glycolysis at the level of phosphofructokinase activity. 5. In recirculation experiments increased heart work for 30min was associated with increased entry of [14C]glucose (11.1mm) and glycogen into glycolysis and a comparable increase in formation of products of glycolysis (lactate, pyruvate and 14CO2). There was no major accumulation of intermediates. Glycogen was not a major fuel for respiration. 6. Increased glycolytic flux in Langendorff perfused and working hearts was obtained by the addition of insulin to the perfusion medium. The concomitant increases in the tissue values of hexose phosphates and of citrate contrasted with the decreased values of hexose monophosphates and of citrate during increased glycolytic flux obtained by increased heart work. 7. Decreased glycolytic flux in Langendorff perfused hearts was obtained by using acute alloxan-diabetic and chronic streptozotocin-diabetic rats; in the latter condition there were decreased tissue contents of hexose phosphates and of citrate. There were similar findings when working hearts from streptozotocin-diabetic rats with insulin added to the medium were compared with normal hearts. 8. The effects of insulin addition or of the chronic diabetic state could be explained in terms of an action of insulin on glucose transport. Increased heart work also acted at this site, but in addition there was evidence for altered regulation of glycolysis mediated by changes in tissue contents of adenine nucleotides or of citrate.

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