Active glycogen metabolism has been demonstrated in both normal and glycogen-rich erythrocytes taken from patients with type III glycogen storage disease. Activity of all enzymes catalyzing the reactions required for the synthesis and degradation of glycogen have been demonstrated in the mature erythrocytes. Uniformly labeled glucose-(14)C is incorporated into glycogen in intact cells of both types during incubation. Replacement of the glucose-(14)C by unlabeled glucose in the medium resulted in a significant loss of radioactivity from cellular glycogen. In the absence of the substrate a progressive shortening of outer branches occurred during incubation of intact glucogen-rich cells. Using cells from patients with type III glycogen storage disease, which have sufficient glycogen content to be analyzed by beta-amylolysis, we demonstrated that the glucosyl units are first incorporated in the outer tiers, then transferred to the core where they tend to accumulate due to the absence of amylo-1,6-glucosidase. The glycogen-rich cells have a more rapid rate of glucose utilization upon incubation which is not reflected by a higher lactate production. The increased rate of glucose utilization did not result from an increased rate of glucose incorporation into glycogen in affected cells. The rate of (14)CO(2) production from glucose-1-(14)C during incubation was not significantly different in the two types of cells unless methylene blue was added as an electron acceptor, in which case the glycogen-rich cells oxidized glucose to CO(2) more rapidly.