The influence of recombinant human interleukin-6, the major mediator of the inflammatory response in liver, on the glucagon- and insulin-dependent induction of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucokinase gene, respectively, was monitored on the level of gene transcription, mRNA abundance and enzyme activity in cultured rat hepatocytes. As control markers of the interleukin-6–induced acute-phase response the mRNA levels of the acute phase proteins α2-macroglobulin and β-fibrinogen were determined. In cultured rat hepatocytes, recombinant human interleukin-6, added simultaneously with glucagon and insulin, lowered the maximal increase in glucagon-induced phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase mRNA levels after 2 hr and the maximal increase in glucokinase mRAN levels after 3 hr to about 30%, respectively. It inhibited the glucagon-induced increase in phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase gene transcription and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase enzyme activity, as well as the insulin-induced increases in glucokinase gene transcription and glucokinase enzyme activity. Recombinant human interleukin-6 increased the mRNA levels of the acute-phase proteins α2-macroglobulin and β-fibrinogen gradually over 4 to 6 hr. Recombinant human interleukin-6, added 2 hr after glucagon or 3 hr after insulin at the maximum of the hormone-induced enzyme mRNA levels, almost doubled the decay rate of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase mKNA and glucokinase mRNA. The results show that interleukin-6 induced the expression of inflammatory proteins and simultaneously inhibited the hormone-induced expression of enzymes of intermediary metabolism. This inhibition occurred by way of both a decrease in the synthesis of specific mRNA and an acceleration of the degradation of mRNA, whereas the induction of the inflammatory proteins is known to occur at the transcriptional level. (Hepatology 1994;20:1577–1583).