11b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1 (11b-HSD-1) plays a critical role in the regulation of intracellular glucocorticoids. 11b-HSD-1 is highly expressed in adipose and liver. Increased message and/or activity of 11b-HSD-1 are characteristics of both human and animal models of obesity. Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) is colocalized with 11b-HSD-1 and plays a critical role in determining the directionality and activity of 11b-HSD-1. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of sucrose solution access on body weight, body composition, and message of 11b-HSD-1 and H6PDH in omental adipose and liver of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were assigned to one of three groups ( n=8/group): (1) control (ad libitum access to chow and water only), (2) ad libitum access to either a 16% sucrose solution (S16) or (3) a 32% sucrose solution (S32) in addition to ad libitum diet and water. Results: The S32 group consumed significantly more calories per day than the S16 and the control groups, yet there was no significant difference in mean body weight among groups. Mean percentages of body fat were not different in the S16 and S32 groups, but were significantly higher than controls. Plasma insulin positively correlated with percentage of body fat. Hepatic 11b-HSD-1 message was suppressed by 41.2% and 47.3% in the S16 and S32 groups, respectively, while H6PDH message increased by about 2-fold in both sucrose-fed groups. In omental fat, 11b-HSD-1 message increased by nearly 17-and 20-fold, and H6PDH message increased by approximately 4.5- and 2-fold in the S16 and S32 groups, respectively. Sucrose access and 11b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1 message in liver and adipose tissue in rats.