1. The activities of pyruvate dehydrogenase in rat lymphocytes and mouse macrophages are much lower than those of the key enzymes of glycolysis and glutaminolysis. However, the rates of utilization of pyruvate (at 2 mM), from the incubation medium, are not markedly lower than the rate of utilization of glucose by incubated lymphocytes or that of glutamine by incubated macrophages. This suggests that the low rate of oxidation of pyruvate produced from either glucose or glutamine in these cells is due to the high capacity of lactate dehydrogenase, which competes with pyruvate dehydrogenase for pyruvate. 2. Incubation of either macrophages or lymphocytes with dichloroacetate had no effect on the activity of subsequently isolated pyruvate dehydrogenase; incubation of mitochondria isolated from lymphocytes with dichloroacetate had no effect on the rate of conversion of [1-14C]pyruvate into 14CO2, and the double-reciprocal plot of [1-14C]pyruvate concentration against rate of 14CO2 production was linear. In contrast, ADP or an uncoupling agent increased the rate of 14CO2 production from [1-14C]pyruvate by isolated lymphocyte mitochondria. These data suggest either that pyruvate dehydrogenase is primarily in the a form or that pyruvate dehydrogenase in these cells is not controlled by an interconversion cycle, but by end-product inhibition by NADH and/or acetyl-CoA. 3. The rate of conversion of [3-14C]pyruvate into CO2 was about 15% of that from [1-14C]pyruvate in isolated lymphocytes, but was only 1% in isolated lymphocyte mitochondria. The inhibitor of mitochondrial pyruvate transport, alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate, inhibited both [1-14C]- and [3-14C]-pyruvate conversion into 14CO2 to the same extent, and by more than 80%. 4. Incubations of rat lymphocytes with concanavalin A had no effect on the rate of conversion of [1-14C]pyruvate into 14CO2, but increased the rate of conversion of [3-14C]pyruvate into 14CO2 by about 50%. This suggests that this mitogen causes a stimulation of the activity of pyruvate carboxylase.