In man a small dose of somatostatin (50 (μg/h) suppressed moderately basal insulin (5 μU/ml) and glucagon (40 pg/ml) levels. This resulted in a short-lasting hypoglycemia, which was then followed by marginal hyperglycemia throughout the experiment. The addition of a minimal dose of glucagon (0.50 ng/kg/min) to somatostatin normalized basal glucagon levels and resulted in a significant and sustained hyperglycemia. During the first 2 h, hyperglycemia was mainly due to increased glucose production, whereas later on it was maintained by decreased glucose uptake. We conclude that, in man moderately deprived of insulin, even a marginal change in glucagon level induces a long-lasting hyperglycemia.