Four adult Corriedale sheep were used in an experiment divided into three parts. In part 1 a primed continuous infusion of [6,6-2H2]glucose was infused for 7 h. The first 3 h was the control period, from 3 to 7 h glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) was infused, and from 5 to 7 h somatostatin was infused. Part 2 of the experiment was the same as for part 1 except that insulin was infused between 3 h and 7 h and GIP was infused between 5 and 7 h. Coincident with the insulin infusion, normal glucose was also infused at a variable rate in order to keep the plasma glucose at basal levels. In part 3 of the experiment [6,6-2H2]glucose was infused for 5 h and somatostatin was infused between 3 and 5 h. Measurements of glucose turnover were made in the last 40 min of the control, GIP only, insulin only, somatostatin only, GIP plus somatostatin and GIP plus insulin infusion periods. Plasma insulin levels were reduced to the limit of detection by the somatostatin infusion; under such conditions whole-body glucose uptake should be entirely non-insulin-mediated (NIMGU). Expressing glucose disposal as glucose metabolic clearance rate demonstrated that elevated, but still physiological GIP levels had no effect on NIMGU but significantly increased insulin-mediated glucose uptake when plasma insulin levels were similar to levels typically observed after a meal. These results indicate that in sheep, GIP may enhance insulin action with respect to glucose disposal following a meal, but has no effect on glucose disposal pathways not responsive to insulin.