Islets of Langerhans were isolated by collagenase digestion from the pancreas of a 39 year-old female renal transplant donor. The islets were subjected to three consecutive periods of tissue culture, after each of which they were incubated in vitro with various agents whose effects on insulin release from islets of laboratory animals have previously been established. After the first culture period, the basal insulin secretion rate of 5.2 microunits/islet/h seen with 2 mmol/l glucose was increased approx. 5-fold on raising the glucose concentration to 20 mmol/l. The islets retained the insulin-secretory response to 20 mmol/l glucose throughout the period of study. Insulin secretion was also stimulated by mannose, leucine, alpha-ketoisocaproate, dihydroxyacetone and 3-hydroxybutyrate, but not by fructose or N-acetyl-glucosamine. Fructose however increased insulin release in the presence of 4 mmol/l glucose. Caffeine elicited insulin release in the absence of glucose and enhanced insulin release in response to 10 mmol/l glucose. Glucose-stimulated insulin release was inhibited by trifluoperazine (25 mumol/l).