Diabetic mice of the C57BL/6J obob and C57BL/Ks dbdb strains show a reduction in pancreatic somatostatin concentration accompanied in the obob strain by a striking decrease in the number of somatostatin-containing cells in the islets. Somatostatin concentration is also decreased in the stomach but increased in the hypothalamus. These findings suggest different control mechanisms for somatostatin in the hypothalamus compared to the gut and pancreas and exclude a primary genetic abnormality of somatostatin cells in the mutants.