Diabetes mellitus (DM) often causes neural dysfunctions, including visual disorders. To investigate the effect of hyperglycemia on the visual system, we studied the metabolism of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a major inhibitory neurotransmitter that has an important role in visual functions. We determined the GABA content and activities of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) and GABA transaminase (GABA-T) in the retina and superior colliculus (SC) in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced DM rats. The GABA content and activities of GAD and GABA-T were decreased in the retinas of STZ-treated rats. The GABA content and GAD activity were reduced in the SC of STZ-treated rats, whereas GABA-T activity showed no marked change. This GABA reduction in the diabetes may be correlated with visual dysfunctions.