Crude mediators from stimulated rabbit peritoneal leukocytes (LEM) engender numerous physiologic alterations in rats, which are similar to those observed during infection. One hour after the intraperitoneal injection of crude LEM, plasma insulin and glucagon concentrations are elevated; at 2 h the hormonal alterations are manifested by a 30% increase in hepatic cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP), glycogen depression, and uptake of 14C-labeled nonmetabolizable amino acid analogues (AA). Plasma hormone concentrations reach maximum levels by 5 h and decline by 24 h. The hepatic concentrations of AA parallel the insulin and glucagon responses and correlate with the inverse of insulin/glucagon molar ratio. In spite of mobilization of hepatic glycogen evident at 5 h, plasma glucose concentrations were transiently depressed. Plasma insulin, glucagon, and hepatic AA concentrations were dose dependent. Plasma insulin and glucagon responses to crude LEM may explain increases in hepatic cAMP, uptake of AA, and glycogenolysis as well as hypoglycemia. These data partially characterize the role of crude LEM, provide an explanation for the stimuli-inducing hyperglucagonemia and hyperinsulinemia during infection. They implicate the endocrine pancreas as a factor regulating the host's metabolic response to infection.