Fibroblast cultures were used to study the effect of crude venom and six venom protein fractions (F2-F7) from Walterinnesia aegyptia on their metabolic activity. This was done by incubation of six fibroblast cultures with 10 micrograms of crude venom for 3 h at 37 degrees C. The activities of phosphofructokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and citrate synthase were significantly lowered upon incubation with all fractions except F2. Glycogen phosphorylase activity was significantly increased, leading to a significant concurrent drop of glycogen content. This effect was only seen for fractions F3 and F5. Creatine kinase activity and cellular ATP levels rose significantly upon incubation with all venom proteins except fractions F2 and F7. Increases were seen for aspartate and alanine aminotransferases by all venom proteins except fractions F2 and F4. Incubation of cell sonicates with all the venom proteins did not significantly alter activities of any of the parameters. Thus, fibroblasts in culture under such conditions appear to mobilize glycogen, phosphocreatine, and protein for ATP production to compensate for decreased glucose.