Gluconeogenic capacity may be an important factor regulating dry matter intake (DMI) in lactating dairy cows. To determine whether increased glucose demand affects feed intake and hepatic gene expression, lactating Holstein cows were treated with phlorizin or vehicle (propylene glycol) for 7 d. Multiparous cows (n = 12; 269 +/- 65 d in milk, mean +/- SD) were randomly assigned to treatment sequence in a crossover design and were adapted to a common diet for 7 d before the beginning of the experiment. Phlorizin injected s.c. at 4 g/d caused glucose excretion in urine at the rate of 474 g/d. Although phlorizin decreased lactose synthesis and milk production (both P < 0.01), DMI and 3.5% fat-corrected milk production were not altered by treatment. A net deficit of 383 g glucose/d in milk and urine for phlorizin (relative to control) was likely replaced partially through increased gluconeogenesis. The molar insulinglucagon ratio was decreased 17% by phlorizin (P < 0.001) and hepatic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, glucose-6-phosphatase, and pyruvate carboxylase mRNA abundance increased (all P < 0.05). Late-lactation dairy cows adapted quickly to an increase in peripheral glucose demand; adaptation mechanisms likely included enhanced gluconeogenic capacity, whereas DMI was not altered.