The expression of the islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) gene within the endocrine pancreas and its correlation with insular neuroendocrine peptide localization were investigated in the rat. In situ hybridization with a 35S-labelled IAPP-mRNA specific oligonucleotide probe was combined with immunocytochemistry. In situ hybridization alone showed strong autoradiographic labelling of the pancreatic islets. In situ hybridization combined with immunocytochemistry for IAPP, revealed labelling of the IAPP-immunoreactive cells. However, when in situ hybridization was combined with immunocytochemistry for proinsulin, we noted a lack of proinsulin immunoreactivity in some peripherally located autoradiographically labelled islet cells. Furthermore, combination of in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry for somatostatin showed autoradiographic labelling of somatostatin cells to a varying degree. This was further confirmed by showing cellular co-localization of IAPP and somatostatin by immunocytochemical double staining. We conclude that IAPP is mainly synthesized in insulin cells. Additionally, a subpopulation of the somatostatin cells is capable of IAPP synthesis. This may account for the relatively small reduction in the content of IAPP-mRNA in islets compared to the marked reduction of insulin mRNA after streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats as previously reported.