We examined the effects of subchronic exposure to malathion, an organophosphorous (OP) insecticide, on plasma glucose and hepatic enzymes of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in rats in vivo. Malathion was administered orally at doses of 100, 200 and 400 ppm for 4 weeks. At the end of the specified treatment (18 h fasting after the last dose of malathion), the liver was removed. The activities of glycogen phosphorylase (GP) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) were analyzed in the homogenate. Four weeks administration of malathion at doses of 100 ppm, 200 ppm, and 400 ppm increased plasma glucose concentrations by 25% (P < 0.01), 17% (P < 0.01), and 14% (P < 0.01) of control, respectively. Malathion also increased hepatic PEPCK activity by 25% (100 ppm, P < 0.01), 16% (200 ppm, P < 0.01), and 21% (400 ppm, P < 0.01) of control, respectively. In addition, malathion increased hepatic GP by 22% (100 ppm, P < 0.01), 41% (200 ppm, P < 0.01), and 32% (400 ppm, P < 0.01) of controls. We conclude that exposure of rats to malathion as a widely used OP in subchronic exposure, which resembles human exposure, may induce diabetes associated with stimulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis in favor of glucose release into the blood. The possible mechanisms including increased energy production to detoxification, depressed paraoxonase activity, and increased production of cyclic nucleotides are discussed.