Aim: The increase in skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism during exercise has been associated with the release of calcium. We examined whether this increase in fatty acid oxidation was attributable to a calcium-induced translocation of the fatty acid transporter CD36 to the sarcolemma, thereby providing an enhanced influx of fatty acids to increase their oxidation.Methods: Calcium release was triggered by caffeine (3 mM) to examine fatty acid oxidation in intact soleus muscles of WT and CD36-KO mice, while fatty acid transport and mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation were examined in giant vesicles and isolated mitochondria, respectively, from caffeine-perfused hindlimb muscles of WT and CD36-KO mice. Western blotting was used to examine calcium-induced signalling.Results: In WT, caffeine stimulated muscle palmitate oxidation (+136%), but this was blunted in CD36-KO mice (-70%). Dantrolene inhibited (WT) or abolished (CD36-KO) caffeine-induced palmitate oxidation. In muscle, caffeine-stimulated palmitate oxidation was not attributable to altered mitochondrial palmitate oxidation. Instead, in WT, caffeine increased palmitate transport (+55%) and the translocation of fatty acid transporters CD36, FABPpm, FATP1 and FATP4 (26-70%) to the sarcolemma. In CD36-KO mice, caffeine-stimulated FABPpm, and FATP1 and 4 translocations were normal, but palmitate transport was blunted (-70%), comparable to the reductions in muscle palmitate oxidation. Caffeine did not alter the calcium-/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II phosphorylation but did increase the phosphorylation of AMPK and acetyl-CoA carboxylase comparably in WT and CD36-KO.Conclusion: These studies indicate that sarcolemmal CD36-mediated fatty acid transport is a primary mediator of the calcium-induced increase in muscle fatty acid oxidation.