We have shown that the C57BL/6J ob/ob (obese) mouse, a commonly used model of type II diabetes mellitus, is not in fact consistently hyperglycemic except when exposed to environmental stress. In an attempt to modify stress hyperglycemia in this animal, we administered either a 5 mg/kg dose of the benzodiazepine alprazolam or vehicle (propylene glycol) intraperitoneally to both obese mice and their lean littermates prior to a rest and a stress period. Alprazolam modified the hyperglycemic effect of stress only in the obese mice. Alprazolam significantly reduced plasma corticosterone in obese animals at rest and following stress. In addition, alprazolam significantly increased plasma insulin in all animals at rest and following stress. These data suggest a possible role for benzodiazepines in the modification of stress hyperglycemia in type II diabetes mellitus.