The ability of muscles from Glut 4-null mice to take up and metabolize glucose has been studied in the isolated white EDL and red soleus muscles. In EDL muscles from male or female Glut 4-null mice, basal deoxyglucose uptake was lower than in control muscles and was not stimulated by insulin. In parallel, glycogen synthesis and content were decreased. Soleus muscles from male Glut 4-null mice took up twice more deoxyglucose in the absence of insulin than control muscles, but did not respond to insulin. In females, soleus deoxyglucose uptake measured in the absence of hormone was similar in Glut 4-null mice and in control mice. This uptake was stimulated twofold in Glut 4-null mice and threefold in control mice. Basal glycogen synthesis was increased by 4- and 2.2-fold in male and female null mice, respectively, compared to controls, and insulin had no or small (20% stimulation over basal) effect. These results indicate that while EDL muscles behaved as expected, soleus muscles were able to take up a large amount of glucose in the absence (males) or the presence of insulin (females). Whether this is due to a change in Glut 1 intrinsic activity or targeting and/or to the appearance of another glucose transporter remains to be determined.