Cellular oxygen consumption and glucose metabolism were examined in human mononuclear blood cells. The cellular oxygen consumption and glucose uptake were dependent on the number of cells, the temperature and the duration of incubation. Stimulation of the cells by T4 and T3 led to a dose dependent increase of oxygen consumption and glucose uptake, whereas T2 and rT3 had no effect. Thyroxine as well as T3 stimulated the cellular glucose metabolism, but lactate production was independent of T3 and T4 stimulation. The data suggested a direct effect of T4 and T3 on oxidative phosphorylation. Further thyroid hormones and insulin exerted an additive effect on glucose uptake. Our study indicates a direct intracellular effect of T4 independent of its conversion to T3 and a different mechanism for insulin dependent and thyroid hormone glucose uptake.