1. A method is described for measuring glucose uptake by pieces of human skeletal muscle removed at surgery.
2. Glucose uptake by this preparation was stimulated by insulin (0.1–10 munits/ml) and inhibited by 2.27 mM-sodium n-butyrate in the presence of insulin (0.1 munit/ml).
3. The antidiabetic drug metformin (60.4 μM) had no effect on glucose uptake in the absence or presence of insulin (0.1 munit/ml), but stimulated uptake in the presence of 2.27 mM-sodium n-butyrate together with insulin (0.1 munit/ml).
4. It is concluded that the metabolic control of glucose uptake in human skeletal muscle is similar to that in rat heart and diaphragm, and that the preparation provides a useful model for biochemical and pharmacological investigations of glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle.