Protein biosynthesis in the retina and fast axonal transport along the optic pathway were studied in rabbits in which diabetes had been experimentally induced. Retinal protein biosynthesis and axonal transport were significantly reduced in the diabetic rabbits, and the reduction was correlated to the severity of the diabetes. The "somal delay time' was only slightly elongated and the O/R ratio was fairly constant in the various levels of blood glucose; thus intrasomal protein movement seems to be less affected in diabetic rabbits. Velocity and the distribution pattern of axonally transported protein remained unaffected in the diabetic rabbits. These findings suggest that a disturbance in the metabolism in the cell body is the most important factor related to quantitative reduction of fast axonal transport in diabetic rabbits.