Résumé : Pancreatic islet homogenates display calcium-sensitive transglutaminase activity, but the role of this enzyme in the process of insulin release remains to be elucidated. Tolbutamide, gliclazide, glisoxepide, glipizide and glibenclamide inhibited transglutaminase activity in islet homogenates. When the cationic response of islet cells to hypoglycaemic sulphonylureas was suppressed by exposing intact islets to quinine, tolbutamide, gliclazide and glibenclamide caused a rapid, sustained, reversible and dose-related inhibition of insulin release. The relative efficiency of distinct hypoglycaemic sulphonylureas as inhibitor of transglutaminase activity was in mirror image of their relative potency as insulin secretagogue. However, the dose-action relationship for the inhibitory action of these agents upon insulin release from quinine-treated islets was similar in response to either tolbutamide, gliclazide or glibenclamide. These results indicate that hypoglycaemic sulphonylureas may exert an inhibitory action upon insulin release, but suggest that such an effect is not tightly related to inhibition of transglutaminase.