Two anomeric analogues of glucose labelled with 123 iodine in position 6, proposed as tracers of glucose transport in vivo, have been synthesized: alpha- and beta-methyl-6-deoxy-6-iodo-D-glucopyranoside (alpha MDIG and beta MDIG). The aim of this study was to determine whether these molecules interact with the glucose transporter and whether they could be used as tracers of glucose transport in vivo. The biodistribution of alpha MDIG and beta MDIG was studied in the mouse in vivo. To determine if these two anomers enter the cell via the glucose transporter, their uptake was measured in isolated perfused rat hearts, in human erythrocytes in suspension, and in cardiomyocytes of neonatal rat in culture. Both alpha MDIG and beta MDIG had similar repartitions in the mouse: myocardial uptake averaged 7% of the injected dose/g of organ at 2 min postinjection and alpha MDIG competed with D-glucose to enter the cells. Insulin produced a 123% increase of its uptake in isolated perfused rat hearts and a 100% increase in cardiomyocytes of neonatal rat in culture. alpha MDIG uptake was lowered in the presence of glucose transport inhibitors in each experimental model. An interaction between beta MDIG and glucose transporters was observed only in human erythrocytes in suspension. Only alpha MDIG interacts with the glucose transporter, and thus could be used to estimate glucose transport in vivo.