..beta..-cell-rich pancreatic islets microdissected from obese-hyperglycemic mice were used to study interactions between the metabolism of L-leucine and D-glucose. L-leucine reduced the islet content of aspartic acid whereas D-glucose, when added to L-leucine-incubated islets, increased the contents of aspartic acid and ..gamma..-aminobutyric acid (GABA). D-glucose also increased the incorporation of L-leucine carbon into aspartic acid, GABA and glutamic acid, suggesting stimulation of a malate shuttle mechanism. When expressed per mole of the individual amino acids, the incorporation of L-leucine carbon into GABA was 2.5 - 4 times higher than into glutamic acid indicating intracellular compartmentation of the latter amino acid. Both L-leucine and D-leucine stimulated /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ production from /sup 14/C-labelled D-glucose. L-leucine did not affect /sup 3/H/sub 2/O production from tritiated D-glucose. The present data do not indicate a role of other amino acids or D-glucose in L-leucine-stimulated insulin release.