Metabolism of excess glucose is an important component of the aetiology of type 1 diabetes. The cardiac phenotype includes left ventricular (LV) remodelling and LV dysfunction. Increased hexosamine biosythesis (HBP) and downstream upregulation of protein O-GlcNAcylation has been linked to diabetic complications in many organs. Its impact on LV contractile responsiveness is however not well understood. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that acute inhibition of O-GlcNAc signaling protects inotropic responsiveness in type 1 diabetic heart. Hearts isolated from adult Sprague-Dawley male rats were Langendorff-perfused (constant flow, 10ml/min). Baseline and phenylephrine-stimulated (PE, 10μmol/L) LV function was determined in diabetic (8wks post-streptozotocin diabetes, 55mg/kg i.v.) versus non-diabetic sham rats in the presence of pharmacological inhibitors of HBP/O-GlcNAc including 6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine (DON, 20μM) and alloxan (5mM). Diabetic rats exhibited a marked reduction in inotropic responsiveness to PE (Table, mean±SEM, one-way ANOVA, #P<0.05 vs non-diabetic vehicle rats, *P<0.05 vs diabetic vehicle, at 40 mins). Acute interruption of cardiac HBP/O-GlcNAc by DON and Alloxan significantly rescued LV responsiveness to PE in type 1 diabetic rat hearts. These results support further assessment of the impact of upregulated protein O-GlcNAcylation on LV function, particularly in the diabetic heart. Treatment strategies that target HBP may provide significant benefits alone or in combination with current standard treatments, to reduce progression of heart failure and death in type 1 diabetic patients.