The role of adrenal hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in providing reducing equivalents to P450 cytochrome steroidogenic enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum is uncertain. Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase resides in the endoplasmic reticulum lumen and co-localizeswith the bidirectional enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1. Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase likely provides 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 with NADPH electrons via channeling. Intracellularly, two compartmentalized reactions generate NADPH upon oxidation of glucose-6-phosphate: cytosolic glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and microsomal hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Because some endoplasmic reticulum enzymes require an electron donor (NADPH), it is conceivable that hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase serves in this capacity for these pathways. Besides 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1, we examined whether hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase generates reduced pyridine nucleotide for pivotal adrenal microsomal P450 enzymes. 21-hydroxylase activity was increased with glucose-6-phosphate and, also, glucose and glucosamine-6-phosphate. The latter two substrates are onlymetabolized by hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, indicating that requisite NADPH for 21-hydroxylase activity was not via glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.Moreover, dihydroepiandrostenedione, a non-competitive inhibitor of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, but not hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, did not curtail activation by glucose-6-phosphate. Finally, themost compelling observationwas that the microsomal glucose-6-phosphate transport inhibitor, chlorogenic acid, blunted the activation by glucose-6-phosphate of both 21-hydroxylase and 17-hydroxylase indicating that luminal hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase can supply NADPH for these enzymes. Analogous kinetic observations were found with microsomal 17-hydroxylase. These findings indicate that hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase can be a source, but not exclusively so, of NADPH for several adrenal P450 enzymes in the steroid pathway. Although the reduced pyridine nucleotides are produced intra-luminally, these compounds may also slowly transverse the endoplasmic reticulum membrane by unknown mechanisms. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.