The incorporation of [3H]glycine into acid-insoluble protein and of [3H]acetate into glycosaminoglycans by cultured chick chondrocytes was stimulated by the addition of L-glutamine to the incubation medium. The effect of exogenous L-glutamine on protein synthesis was studied further by examining changes in the sedimentation patterns on sucrose gradients of ribosomes isolated from chondrocytes incubated in presence and absence of L-glutamine. It was found that the absence of L-glutamine caused a disaggregation of polyribosomes that was revered by the addition of this amino acid to the culture medium. No detectable glutamine synthetase activity could be measured in avian articular cartilage. These results indicate that L-glutamine is an essential amino acid for cartilage in that an extracellular supply of this amino acid is required for the maintenance of protein and glycosaminoglycan synthesis. A dependence of L-glutamine was also demonstrated for other avain connective tissues.