A related set of kinetic studies of the norepinephrine analog [76Br]-meta-bromobenzylguanidine (MBBG) were performed with an isolated working rat heart preparation. A series of constant infusion studies over a wide range of MBBG concentrations allowed estimation of the Michaelis-Menten constants for transport by the neuronal norepinephrine transporter (uptake1) and the extraneuronal uptake system (uptake2). Pharmacological blocking studies with inhibitors of uptake1, uptake2 and vesicular uptake were performed to delineate the relative importance of these norepinephrine handling mechanisms on the kinetics of MBBG in the rat heart. Bolus injection studies were done to assess the ability of compartmental modeling techniques to characterize the kinetics of MBBG. These studies demonstrate that MBBG shares many of the same uptake mechanisms as norepinephrine in the rat heart. PET imaging studies with MBBG would be useful for assessing sympathetic nerve status in the living human heart.