When pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP-38, 420 pmol/kg) was injected to anesthetized dogs, hyperglycemia associated with elevation in plasma glucagon and adrenalin levels was observed. In dogs undergone adrenalectomy, the same dose of it stimulated insulin, but not glucagon, release and hyperglycemia was not observed. Much higher dose was needed to evoke hyperglycemia in such dogs. Next, direct glycogenolytic activities of PACAP, glucagon and adrenalin were studied on cultured rat hepatocytes. PACAP38 stimulated glucose output via cAMP production by the cells, but the potency was far less than that of glucagon. Adrenalin, however, could not exert the activity with physiological concentrations. These results indicate that hyperglycemic effect of PACAP can be attributed mainly to indirect effects resulting from glucagon and adrenalin release and possibly in part to a direct action on hepatocytes.