The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of adrenergic agents on secretion of amylase from the salivary glands in vivo. Saliva was collected from the distal oesophagus in conscious rats. Adrenaline increased the concentration of amylase in saliva and serum significantly. The result of infusion of alpha- and beta-adrenergic antagonists as well as noradrenaline and isoproterenol showed that secretion of salivary amylase is predominantly mediated by stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors, especially of the beta1-subtype. Investigation of the isoenzyme pattern in saliva, pancreatic juice and serum demonstrated that the major component in serum is salivary amylase. This study has shown that beta-adrenergic agents stimulate secretion of amylase from the salivary glands in rats. Though the secretion is mainly exocrine small amounts of amylase is found in serum, which seems to originate from the salivary glands.