The expression of hepatic epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor gene was studied in genetically diabetic (C57BL/KsJ db/db) mice and streptozotocininduced diabetic mice. The binding of 125I-labelled EGF to hepatic membrane preparations of genetically diabetic mice was only 35% of that of non-diabetic mice. Levels of EGF receptor messenger RNAs (10 and 6 kb) in the liver of the diabetic animals were also reduced by about 75%. In streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, levels of hepatic EGF binding and messenger RNAs for EGF receptor were decreased to 27 and 30% of control levels respectively, at 5 weeks after injection of the drug. There were, however, no significant differences in levels of messenger RNAs for the structural protein β-actin in the liver. In addition, levels of EGF receptor messenger RNAs in the kidney were similar between control and the two kinds of diabetic mice. Daily administration of insulin to the streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice increased the hepatic levels of EGF receptor messenger RNAs to almost normal levels. These results indicate that EGF binding to its receptor decreases in the liver of diabetic mice, involving alterations in the level of EGF receptor messenger RNAs, and that insulin is important for the regulation of EGF receptor gene expression in the liver but not in the kidney.