The effect of glibenclamide, a sulfonylurea agent, on islet hormone secretion, particularly on glucagon was studied using isolated perifused pancreatic islets of normal and cysteamine-treated rats. In normal rat islets, glibenclamide enhanced both insulin and somatostatin release in normoglycemic (50 mg/dL) and glucopenic (0 mg/dL) states, as well as under the condition of arginine stimulation. In contrast, glibenclamide stimulated glucagon release only transiently, then suppressed it in a sustaining manner in each state. In the cysteamine-treated islets, as expected, somatostatin concentrations in the perifusate remained unchanged during the infusion of arginine and/or glibenclamide. Under this condition, glibenclamide enhanced insulin release to the same extent as seen in normal islets, and again markedly inhibited glucagon release. These observations indicate that in isolated perifused rat pancreatic islets, glibenclamide suppresses glucagon secretion independently of D cell stimulation. It is concluded that glibenclamide may exert its inhibitory effect directly on A cell rather than through paracrine action of concomitant somatostatin release, and that the suppression of glucagon secretion by glibenclamide may, in part, contribute to the antidiabetogenic effect of this compound.