Objective: It has been suggested that adiponectin regulates plasma free fatty acid (FFA) clearance by stimulating FFA uptake and/or oxidation in muscle. We aimed to determine changes in plasma adiponectin concentration and adiponectin receptor 1 and 2 mRNA expression in skeletal muscle during and after prolonged exercise under normal. fasting conditions (high FFA trial: HFA) and following pharmacological inhibition of adipose tissue lipolysis (low FFA trial: LFA). Furthermore, we aimed to detect and locate adiponectin in skeletal muscle tissue. Methods: Ten subjects performed two exercise trials (120 min at 50% VO2max) Indirect calorimetry was used to determine total fat oxidation rate. Plasma samples were collected at rest, during exercise and during post-exercise recovery to determine adiponectin, FFA and glycerol concentrations. Muscle biopsies were taken to determine adiponectin protein and adiponectin receptor 1 and 2 mRNA expression and to localise intramyocellular adiponectin. Results: Basal plasma adiponectin concentrations averaged 6.57 +/- 0.7 and 6.63 +/- 0.8 mg/l in the HFA and LFA trials respectively, and did not change significantly during or after exercise. In the LFA trial, plasma FFA concentrations and total fat oxidation rates were substantially reduced. However, plasma adiponectin and muscle adiponectin receptor 1 and 2 mRNA expression did not differ between trials. lmmunohistochemical staining of muscle cross-sections showed the presence of adiponectin in the sarcolemma of individual muscle fibres and within the interfibrillar arterioles. Conclusion: Plasma adiponectin concentrations and adiponectin receptor 1 and 2 mRNA expression in muscle are not acutely regulated by changes in adipose tissue lipolysis and/or plasma FFA concentrations. Adiponectin is abundantly expressed in muscle, and, for the first time, it has been shown to be present in/on the sarcolemma of individual muscle fibres.