Membrane responses were recorded from isolated gastric smooth muscle of Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) and Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats, using microelectrode techniques. At the age of 68-76 weeks, the blood sugar level was 181 mg/dl in LETO rats and 350 mg/dL in OLETF rats. In both rats, the membrane potential was stable in fundus muscle and spontaneously active with generation of slow waves in antrum muscle. The resting membrane potential was about - 46 mV in fundus and - 55 mV in antrum muscles of LETO rats, and the values were 3-7 mV lower in OLETF rats. The slow waves were generated regularly in LETO rats, while they were irregular and of small amplitude in OLETF rats. Transmural nerve stimulation evoked a cholinergic excitatory junction potential and following inhibitory junction potential in LETO rats, and only an inhibitory junction potential of smaller size was generated in most of OLETF rats. The acetylcholine-induced depolarization was greater in OLETF than in LETO rats. The level of hyperpolarization produced by noradrenaline was similar between OLETF and LETO rats. Thus, the reduction of the resting membrane potential, weakening of spontaneous activity, impairment of cholinergic transmission and cholinergic supersensitivity were associated with hyperglycemia. These alterations were considered due to the development of diabetes mellitus.