The role of reduced endothelial production of EDRF-NO in the pathogenesis of diabetic angiopathy has received much attention, however, most of the rather conflicting data were gained from animal experiments. Limited human experience seems to be available in insulin dependent diabetes, calling attention to decreased EDRF-NO production. Hereby the clinical, as well as laboratory investigation (urinary and serum nitrate/nitrite, lipid peroxidation, glucometabolic parameters, endothelial and in vivo platelet activation markers, etc.) of 35 non-insulin dependent (NIDDM) and 15 insulin dependent diabetics (IDDM) patients are given. Urinary and serum nitrate/nitrite concentrations were proven to be reduced in both patients groups. This change was independent of diabetes duration, presence of macroangiopathy, coronary heart disease and the glucometabolic parameters, however, correlation was registered with lipid peroxidation (total antioxidant status). An inverse correlation of nitrate/nitrite excretion with endothelial markers (von Willebrand factor, soluble thrombomodulin) was documented in NIDDM, this correlation was much stronger in IDDM. Moreover, in IDDM patients reduced nitrate/nitrite excretion was strongly associated with elevated plasmatic beta-thromboglobulin levels. The data presented here support to the hypothesis, that EDRF-NO production is reduced in diabetes and this reduction seems to correlate with endothelial damage. In IDDM the decreased nitrate/nitrite excretion may also lead to increased in vivo platelet activation, which suggests that the reduced amount of EDRF-NO might play a role in the pathogenesis of angiopathy in IDDM.