We have used the polymerase chain reaction with mixed sequence primers to generate a probe for rat amylin and have used this to detect expression in various rat tissues. Amylin mRNA is found in greatest concentrations in the pancreas where a single mRNA species can be detected giving a hybridisation signal intensity approximately 10% that of insulin mRNA. When the beta cell population was depleted with streptozotocin, both amylin and insulin mRNAs were reduced to a similar extent. Consistent with its supposed role in the control of carbohydrate metabolism, amylin mRNA was also found in the stomach. Unlike the related peptide, CGRP, amylin mRNA is not present in the thyroid and is not widely distributed in the central nervous system. The only nervous tissue in which it could be detected was the dorsal root ganglion. Surprisingly, amylin mRNA was also found in the lung though only at very low levels.