Addition of NAD(+) to purified potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) mitochondria respiring alpha-ketoglutarate and malate in the presence of the electron transport inhibitor rotenone, stimulated O(2) uptake. This stimulation was prevented by incubating mitochondria with N-4-azido-2-nitrophenyl-aminobutyryl-NAD(+) (NAP(4)-NAD(+)), an inhibitor of NAD(+) uptake, but not by 1 mm EGTA, an inhibitor of external NADH oxidation. NAD(+)-stimulated malate-cytochrome c reductase activity, and reduction of added NAD(+) by intact mitochondria, could be duplicated by rupturing the mitochondria and adding a small quantity to the cuvette. The extent of external NAD(+) reduction was correlated with the amount of extra mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase present. Malate oxidation by potato mitochondria depleted of endogenous NAD(+) by storing on ice for 72 hours, was completely dependent on added NAD(+), and the effect of NAD(+) on these mitochondria was prevented by incubating them with NAP(4)-NAD(+). External NAD(+) reduction by these mitochondria was not affected by NAP(4)-NAD(+). We conclude that all effects of exogenous NAD(+) on plant mitochondrial respiration can be attributed to net uptake of the NAD(+) into the matrix space.