Blood glucose, plasma insulin, and glucagon responses after a 75 g oral glucose-tolerance test were assessed in 9 normal controls, 5 obese nondiabetics (ON), 5 obese nondiabetics with fasting hyperinsulinemia (obese "resistant" nondiabetics--OR), 9 obese with impaired glucose tolerance (O-IGT), and 9 nonobese insulin-dependent diabetics (IDD). Fasting plasma glucagon concentrations were significantly higher in all groups of patients in comparison to the normal controls. Insulin secretion, evaluated in all but the IDD, was similar to normal in the ON and increased in the OR and O-IGT. Normal glucagon suppression was observed in the lean controls and ON but not in OR, O-IGT, and IDD. We suggested that the resistance to glucagon suppression after glucose load in the OR and O-IGT in the presence of increased insulin response could be an indication that the A cell participates in the relative insulin insensitivity of these subjects.