The functional significance of amino acid transport in skeletal muscle has been explored by the use of a variety of techniques including work in isolated perfused organs, isolated incubated organs and tissue culture of muscle cells. The results suggest that although, there is a wide variety of amino acid transport systems of different characteristics and with different responses to ionic, hormonal and nervous modulation, the amino acid glutamine (transported by system Nm) demonstrates some unusual properties not observed with amino acids transported by other systems. Glutamine is transported at very high rates in skeletal muscle and heart and both the glutamate and glutamine transporter appear to be adaptively regulated by the availability of glutamine. Glutamine appears to be involved in the regulation of a number of important metabolic processes in heart and skeletal muscle (e.g., regulation of the glutathione reduced/oxidised ratio and regulation of protein and glycogen synthesis). Furthermore, glutamine transport appears to interact with systems for regulation of volume control and many of the metabolic features attributable to changes in glutamine concentration appear to be modulated via alteration in cytoskeletal status.