Certain aspects of somatostatin secretion from isolated rat pancreatic islets are described. A considerable, but falling basal secretion of somatostatin was observed in the pre-incubation periods. Both glucose and theophylline stimulation gave significant increases in somatostatin secretion, whereas carbachol inhibits the somatostatin secretion at 25 mmol l-1 glucose but not at 5 mmol l-1 glucose. The glucose effect on somatostatin secretion required a normoglycaemic pre-incubation level of 5.5 mmol l-1 glucose. Our results indicate that somatostatin secretion from isolated pancreatic islets is strongly dependent on the experimental conditions.