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To examine whether glucose ingestion during exercise affects the release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) from the contracting limb, seven men performed 120 min of semi-recumbent cycling on two occasions while ingesting either 250 ml of a 6.4 % carbohydrate (GLU trial) or sweet placebo (CON trial) beverage at the onset of, and at 15 min intervals throughout, exercise. Muscle biopsies obtained before and immediately after exercise were analysed for glycogen and IL-6 mRNA expression. Blood samples were simultaneously obtained from a brachial artery and a femoral vein prior to and during exercise and leg blood flow was measured by thermodilution in the femoral vein. Net leg IL-6 release, and net leg glucose and free fatty acid (FFA) uptake, were calculated from these measurements. The arterial IL-6 concentration was lower (P < 0.05) after 120 min of exercise in GLU, but neither intramuscular glycogen nor IL-6 mRNA were different when comparing GLU with CON. However, net leg IL-6 release was attenuated (P < 0.05) in GLU compared with CON. This corresponded with an enhanced (P < 0.05) glucose uptake and a reduced (P < 0.05) FFA uptake in GLU. These results demonstrate that glucose ingestion during exercise attenuates leg IL-6 release but does not decrease intramuscular expression of IL-6 mRNA.