There is much evidence that glucose and insulin are related to the regulation of food intake and the maintenance of peripheral glucose homeostasis through actions of the central nervous system. However, evidence concerning the penetration of peripheral glucose and insulin into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the relationship between both peripheral and CSF glucose and insulin levels is still missing. In the reported experiments it is shown that insulin is present in the CSF (17 +/- 3.6 microU/ml CSF versus 44 +/- 6.0 microU/ml plasma) but that CSF insulin does not follow rises of peripheral insulin to 136 microU/ml plasma during 4.5 hours. On the other hand CSF glucose (55 +/- 3.1 mg/dl CSF) follows rises of peripheral glucose levels with a delay of about 30 min. Increase of CSF glucose by infusing glucose into the third brain ventricle elicits a prolonged decrease in peripheral glucose levels. Infusion into the third ventricle of insulin only does not change peripheral glucose. However, infusion of a combination of insulin and glucose in the third ventricle leads to a gradual increase in peripheral glucose and elicits a disappearance of the decrease in peripheral glucose after glucose only infusion into the CSF. During third ventricle infusion experiments no change in peripheral insulin could be observed. It will be argued that changes in CSF glucose and insulin contribute to maintenance of peripheral glucose homeostasis.