Abstract The intracellular distribution of hepatic metabolites in normal and quinolinic acid (QA)-treated rats has been calculated. QA, an inhibitor of gluconeogenesis, raises the total cell content of malate, aspartate, α-ketoglutarate and citrate. The calculated mitochondrial content of all four metabolites was raised, as was the mitochondrial/cytosolic gradient, and the cytosolic content of oxaloacetate and α-ketoglutarate decreased. The fall of cytosolic oxaloacetate in QA-treated rats suggests a control at PEPCK by substrate limitation. It is suggested that QA may have an action on the translocation of polycarboxylate anions across the mi tochondrial membrane.