We previously reported that glucosamine and hyperglycemia attenuate the response of cardiomyocytes to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-generating agonists such as ANG II. This appears to be related to an increase in flux through the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP) and decreased Ca2+ entry into the cells; however, a direct link between HBP and intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis has not been established. Therefore, using neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, we investigated the relationship between glucosamine treatment; the concentration of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc), an end product of the HBP; and the level of protein O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) on ANG II-mediated changes in intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). We found that glucosamine blocked ANG II-induced [Ca 2+]i increase and that this phenomenon was associated with a significant increase in UDP-GlcNAc and O-GlcNAc levels. O-(2-acetamido-2-deoxy- Dglucopyranosylidene)-amino-N-phenylcarbamate, an inhibitor of O-GlcNAcase that increased O-GlcNAc levels without changing UDP-GlcNAc concentrations, mimicked the effect of glucosamine on the ANG II-induced increase in [Ca2+]i. An inhibitor of O-GlcNAc-transferase, alloxan, prevented the glucosamine-induced increase in O-GlcNAc but not the increase in UDP-GlcNAc; however, alloxan abrogated the inhibition of the ANG II-induced increase in [Ca2+]i. These data support the notion that changes in O-GlcNAc levels mediated via increased HBP flux may be involved in the regulation of [Ca2+]i homeostasis in the heart. Copyright © 2006 the American Physiological Society.