The influence of gastric pH on intestinal metaplasia was examined in male Crj:CD(SD) rats. At the age of 5 weeks, animals were irradiated with two 10 Gy doses of X-rays to the gastric region at a 3-day interval (total 20 Gy), and 6 months after irradiation, received either secretin or histamine in silicon tubes for 2 months or had their bilateral submandibular salivary glands removed. The incidence of intestinal metaplasia in the fundus of animals after administration of secretin or histamine, or removal of the salivary glands were reduced, along with the pH values, as compared with values for rats given X-rays alone. In both the pyloric and the fundic gland mucosae, the numbers of alkaline phosphatase (ALP)-positive foci and type B metaplasias (intestinal crypts without Paneth cells) were also significantly decreased (P < 0.01). In a second experiment, started six months after irradiation, rats were kept on 1% sodium chloride (NaCl) diet for 6 months. Subsequent removal of salivary glands along with histamine treatment brought about a marked drop in pH and in numbers of ALP-positive foci after three and five days. The present results thus indicated that development and maintenance of intestinal metaplasia can be influenced by a decrease of pH value.