The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on the hepatic and muscle glucose metabolizing enzymes and on blood glucose were investigated in insulin-resistant diabetic C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice and their heterozygote littermates (db/+m). The results were compared with those after troglitazone administration under the same conditions. Despite hyperinsulinemia, hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) activities are higher in db/db than in db/+m mice. Dietary administration of DHEA and that of troglitazone for 15 days to respective groups of five mice each significantly decreased blood glucose in db/db mice and hepatic G6Pase and FBPase activities in both db/db and db/+m mice. Hepatic G6Pase and FBPase activities showed a linear relationship with blood glucose in all groups of mice, suggesting that the activities of G6Pase and FBPase are closely related to blood glucose levels. Because androstenedione, a DHEA metabolite, barely affected either of these enzyme activities or blood glucose in db/db mice, the actions of DHEA, which are similar to those of troglitazone, are presumed to be caused by DHEA itself. DHEA is considered to be a modulating agent for the activities of hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes in db/db mice.