We examined the effect of hyperglycemia per se on net splanchnic glucose balance. In 2 groups of normal postabsorptive men who had undergone hepatic vein catheterization, somatostatin was administered to block endogenous insulin and glucagon secretion. Exogenous glucose was infused in both groups to maintain euglycemia for 2 h in one group (n = 7) and to induce hyperglycemia of 220-240 mg/dl after 30 minutes of euglycemia in the second group (n = 4). In both groups the induction of insulinopenia and glucagonopenia with euglycemia maintained resulted in an initial 75% fall in net splanchnic glucose production (NSGP). In the group in which euglycemia was maintained NSGP returned to basal rates (157 +/- 31 mg/min) within 2 h. However, in the group in which hyperglycemia was induced, NSGP did not return to basal rates but remained suppressed (28 +/- 4 mg/min) for the duration of the study. These data in normal man indicate that hyperglycemia per se with insulin and glucagon acutely withdrawn can suppress splanchnic glucose production but does not induce net splanchnic glucose storage.