The hepatic glycine cleavage system (GCS) is the principal route for the metabolism of glycine in mammals. Flux through the GCS in isolated rat hepatocytes was stimulated by about 100% by glucagon (10−7 M), forskolin (10−4 M), and dibutyryl cAMP (10−4 M). The stimulation of flux through the GCS by these agents was accompanied by marked elevation of cellular cAMP levels. A significant correlation was observed between increased cellular cAMP levels induced by glucagon and stimulation of flux through the GCS by glucagon. Exclusion of calcium from the incubation medium reduced the basal flux by 38%, but did not affect the degree of stimulation of flux through the GCS by glucagon. A single intraperitoneal injection of glucagon to rats prior to isolation of hepatocytes resulted in a 76% stimulation of flux through the GCS. These hepatocytes with stimulated flux through the GCS showed reduced sensitivity for further stimulation by glucagon. Half-maximal stimulation of flux through the GCS occurred at 3.8 ± 1.1 and 8.5 ± 1.4 nM glucagon in hepatocytes isolated from control and glucagon-injected rats, respectively. We conclude that cAMP is involved in the regulation of flux through the GCS by gluagon.Key words: amino acid, metabolism, liver, mitochondria, hormones.