This study tested the hypothesis that increases in perfusate flow rate result in increased rates of unidirectional and net K+ transport in rat hind-limb skeletal muscle at rest. Ten neurally and vascularly isolated hind limbs, with arterial and venous catheters placed proximal to the popliteal region, were perfused for 10-min periods at flow rates (presented in a random order) of 0.27, 0.42, 0.63, 0.84, or 1.05 mL·min-1·g-1. Potassium extraction and unidirectional K+ influx were determined using 42K, and arterial perfusion pressure was measured continuously. Increases in flow rate resulted in decreases in K+ extraction and increases in unidirectional K+ influx, unidirectional K+ efflux, and net K+ efflux. The increases in K+ flux were associated with increases in oxygen uptake, glucose uptake, and lactate release. In separate experiments (n = 5), the vasodilator papaverine (10-4 M) did not further vasodilate the vasculature of resting hind limbs, suggesting that the hind limbs in this preparation were fully vasodilated. Papaverine, at constant flow, resulted in a nearly 1.5-fold increase in K+ extraction, a doubling of unidirectional K+ influx, and increases in unidirectional K+ efflux and net K+ efflux. It is concluded that physiological increases in flow rate result in increases in K+ transport in isolated, perfused rat hind-limb skeletal muscle. Furthermore, papaverine appeared to induce an increase in skeletal muscle membrane permeability to K+.Key words: K+ transport, potassium extraction, Na-K ATPase, sarcolemma, plasma flow, vasodilator, VO2.