1 The present study investigated the effect of streptozotocin-induced diabetes on alpha(1)-adrenoceptor subtypes in rat renal resistance vessels. 2 Studies on renal haemodynamics were carried out 7 days after the last streptozotocin. Changes in renal blood flow were recorded in response to electrical stimulation of the renal nerve (RNS) and a range of adrenergic agonists; noradrenaline (NA), phenylephrine (PE) and methoxamine (MTX), either in the absence or the presence of nitrendipine (Nit), 5-methylurapidil (MEU), chlorethylclonidine (CEC) or BMY 7378. 3 In non-diabetic animals, Nit, MEU and BMY 7378 significantly attenuated renal vasoconstriction induced by adrenergic agonists, while CEC showed a significant accentuation in RNS-induced responses without having a significant effect on responses to adrenergic agonists. In diabetic rats, renal vasoconstriction was also significantly reduced in Nit-, MEU- and BMY 7378-treated groups and CEC potentiated RNS-induced contractions caused a change similar to that observed in non-diabetic rats. BMY 7378 significantly (P < 0.05) attenuated the PE- and MTX-induced vasoconstrictions but did not cause any significant (P > 0.05) alteration in the RNS- and NA-induced responses. 4 The results showed functional co-existence of alpha(1A)- and alpha(1D)-adrenoceptors in the renal vasculature of SD rats irrespective of the presence of diabetes. A possible minor contribution of prejunctional alpha-adrenoceptor subtype has also been suggested in either experimental group, particularly possible functional involvement of alpha(1B)-adrenoceptor subtypes in non-diabetic SD rats.