The mechanism of reducing the glucose sensitivity of sensors implanted into the subcutaneous tissue of the normal rat was evaluated (n = 10) by comparing sensitivities observed in vitro and in vivo. In vivo sensitivity was significantly lower than that observed in vitro before implantation (p < 0.005). Most interestingly, in vitro sensitivity immediately after explanation did not differ from that in vivo and increased progressively during rinsing (p < 0.02 after 30 min). These results demonstrate that the reduction of in vivo sensitivity was not due to a local factor or factors but to a reversible alteration of the glucose sensor characteristics induced in vivo by some local factor(s). This suggests that modifications of the outer sensor membrane, the nature of which remains to be determined, may prevent this effect and resolve the problem.