The aim of the experiment was to clarify whether the altered coronary reactivity in diabetes mellitus might be caused by a general modification of the sympathetic responses. Six of 12 young mongrel dogs of both sexes were made diabetic with alloxan (560 mmol/kg). This amount of alloxan induced a clinically manifest diabetes, however the animals failed to develop ketosis. The remaining six dogs served as controls. The haemodynamic investigation was performed three months after the induction of diabetes. Under pentobarbital anaesthesia (133 mmol/kg) mean arterial blood pressure, blood flow in the left anterior descending coronary artery, myocardial contractile force of left ventricular wall and heart rate were recorded continuously and the conductivity of coronary arterial bed was calculated during electrical stimulation ( 8V , 1-2-4-8-20 s-1) of the cardiac plexus or during the intracoronary infusion of adenosine (30-60-120-240-480 nmol/kg/min). In alloxan-diabetic dogs electrical stimulation evoked vasoconstriction in the coronary arterial bed, while vasodilation was observed in metabolically healthy animals. The vasodilator effect of adenosine was significantly smaller in diabetic than in control dogs. On the other hand there were no differences either in the alterations of heart rate caused by adenosine or in those of myocardial contractile force induced by adenosine or electric stimulation between the two groups. It is concluded that general alteration of sympathetic responses is not, but rather a modified relation of the receptors to the vessel wall might be responsible for the altered vascular responses in diabetes.