Changes in glucagon, insulin and somatostatin secretion induced by electrical splanchnic nerve stimulation were examined in rats treated with streptozotocin as neonates and as adults. In order to study the direct neural effects we used the isolated perfused rat pancreas with intact left splanchnic nerve in vitro. In normal rats splanchnic nerve stimulation causes significant decreases in insulin (30-40%) and somatostatin (30-50%) secretion at both 16.7 mmol/l and 1 mmol/l glucose concentrations. In the neonatal streptozotocin-diabetic rat splanchnic nerve stimulation at 16.7 mmol/l glucose decreased insulin secretion (14%) further than in the control rats (30%), however, somatostatin secretion did not decrease to the same extent. Similar results were also observed at the low (1 mmol/l) glucose concentration. On the other hand, percent decreases of insulin and somatostatin secretion induced by splanchnic nerve stimulation in the streptozocin-diabetic rats were similar to the values observed in the normal control rats. The glucagon secretion in response to splanchnic nerve stimulation at 16.7 mmol/l glucose from pancreatic Alpha cells in both types of induced diabetes is exaggerated, and the degree of exaggeration seems to parallel the severity of the hyperglycaemia. However, the splanchnic nerve stimulation-induced glucagon secretion at 1 mmol/l glucose was impaired in the streptozotocin-diabetic rats, but not in the neonatal streptozotocin-diabetic rats. These data suggest that the sensitivity of diabetic Alpha and Delta cells to sympathetic neural activation are blunted, whereas the sensitivity of Beta cells is enhanced in the diabetic animal model.