1. Guinea-pig hepatocytes were prepared by collagenase digestion of the perfused liver. 2. The highest rates of gluconeogenesis were obtained from fructose, followed by pyruvate, xylitol and lactate, glycerol and propionate in that order. Maximum rates of gluconeogenesis were attained at 6–10mm substrate. 3. An initial 15-min lag period occurred during gluconeogenesis from lactate. This lag was abolished by preincubating the cells or by preincubation plus the addition of NH4Cl or lysine. 4. The lactate/pyruvate and 3-hydroxybutyrate/acetoacetate ratios were increased during the lag and adjusted to values favouring rapid gluconeogenesis from lactate after 15min. 5. The data suggest that the low glucose synthesis during the lag resulted from a limitation of the glutamate–aspartate shuttle and from the unusual redox state of the NAD+ couple prevailing during this period. 6. At 0.1mm, amino-oxyacetate, a transaminase inhibitor, decreased gluconeogenesis from lactate by 80%, but had a negligible effect on glucose production from pyruvate. Gluconeogenesis from lactate was also inhibited (20%) by 10mm-dl-3-hydroxybutyrate.