Recently, decreased gastrointestinal beta-adrenergic responses in experimental diabetes have been demonstrated. Gastrointestinal responses to beta-adrenoceptor agonists are impaired in both insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetic rat. Insulin treatment improves the impaired gastrointestinal beta-adrenergic responsiveness of diabetic rats. The improvement seen with insulin treatment on beta-adrenergic responsiveness is closely related to protein biosynthesis. The decreased beta-adrenergic responses in diabetic rat gastrointestinal tract seem to result from a decrease in the number of beta-adrenoceptors. It is most likely that the decreased gastrointestinal beta-adrenergic responsiveness is related to an impairment in the turnover of beta-adrenoceptors as a consequence of diabetes and that insulin has a beneficial effect on the impaired receptor turnover.