The hypothesis that ionized calcium [Ca2+]i may stimulate in situ rat adipocyte intermediary metabolism distal to glucose transport was tested. A metabolically active porous adipocyte model was employed in which pathway metabolism is exclusively pore-dependent using glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) as substrate. Cellular [Ca2+]i was, furthermore, directly adjusted to between 0-2.5 μM via the membrane pores. Three metabolic fluxes were examined, (1) glycolysis-Krebs ([6-14C]G6P oxidation), (2) glycolysis to lactate ([U-14C]G6P to [14C]lactate)and (3) pentose pathway ([1-14C]G6P oxidation). Glycolysis-Krebs oxidation was found to be selectively (33% above basal P < 0.001) stimulated by 0.625 μM free calcium. In contrast, there was no effect of [Ca2+]i on the other, exclusively cytoplasmic, pathways. The stimulation of glycolysis-Krebs by [Ca2+]i was inhibited by a mitochondrial calcium channel blocker (Ruthernium red) and persisted over a range of ATP/ADP ratios. Separate studies demonstrated that 2-[1-14C]ketoglutarate oxidation was also calcium-stimulated in the porous adipocytes (160% over baseline at 1 μM [Ca2+]i). These studies thus demonstrate that physiologically relevant increments in porous adipocyte [Ca2+]i enhance overall in situ glycolytic-Krebs pathway oxidation by a mechanism which entails mitochondrial calcium uptake. Methodologically, this metabolically active porous adipocyte model presents a novel experimental approach to investigations regarding the effects of ionized calcium on intermediary metabolism beyond glucose transport. © 1991.