For patients with diabetes, insulin resistance and hyperglycemia both contribute to increased serum triglyceride in the form of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Our objective was to define the insulin conditions in which hyperglycemia promotes increased serum VLDL in vivo. We performed hyperglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp studies and hyperglycemic-hypoinsulinemic clamp studies in rats, with metabolic tracers for glucose flux and de novo fatty acid synthesis. When blood glucose was clamped at hyperglycemia (17 mm) for 2 h under hyperinsulinemic conditions (4 mU/kg . min), serum VLDL levels were not increased compared with baseline. We speculated that hyperinsulinemia minimized glucose-mediated VLDL changes and performed hyperglycemic-hypoinsulinemic clamp studies in which insulin was clamped near fasting levels with somatostatin (17 mm blood glucose, 0.25 mU/kg . min insulin). Under low-insulin conditions, serum VLDL levels were increased 4.7-fold after hyperglycemia, and forkhead box O1 (FoxO1) was not excluded from the nucleus of liver cells. We tested the extent that impaired inactivation of FoxO1 by insulin was sufficient for glucose to promote increased serum VLDL. We found that, when the ability of insulin to inactivate FoxO1 is blocked after adenoviral delivery of constitutively active FoxO1, glucose increased serum VLDL triglyceride when given both by ip glucose tolerance testing (3.5-fold increase) and by a hyperglycemic clamp (4.6-fold). Under both experimental conditions in which insulin signaling to FoxO1 was impaired, we found increased activation of carbohydrate response element binding protein. These data suggest that glucose more potently promotes increased serum VLDL when insulin action is impaired, with either low insulin levels or disrupted downstream signaling to the transcription factor FoxO1.