The objective of this work is to identify the adenosine receptor subtype and the triggered events involved in the regulation of hepatic glycogen metabolism. Glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, cAMP, and cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+](cyt)) were measured in isolated hepatocytes challenged with adenosine A1, A2A, and A3 receptor-selective agonists. Stimulation of adenosine receptor subtypes with selective agonists in Ca2+ media produced a dose-dependent increase in [Ca2+]cyt with A1>A2=A3, cAMP with A2A, glycogenolysis with A1>A2A>A3, and gluconeogenesis with A2A>A1>A3, in addition, a decrease in cAMP was observed with A1=A3. Comparatively, in Ca2+-free media or with a cell membrane-permeant Ca2+ chelator, activation of these adenosine receptors with the same selective agonists produced a smaller and transient rise in [Ca2+]cyt with A1=A3>A2, no rise in glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis with A3>A1, but a full rise with A2A. Thus, in isolated rat hepatocytes activation of the adenosine A1 receptor triggered Ca2+-mediated glycogenolysis, activation of the adenosine A2A receptor stimulated cAMP-mediated gluconeogenesis, and activation of the adenosine A3 receptor increased [Ca2+]cyt and decreased cAMP with minor changes in glycogen metabolism.