The expression patterns and the dynamic changes in content of both annexin I and annexin II in the rat pancreatic islets during postnatal development were investigated by both western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Immunohistochemical methods clearly demonstrated the presence of annexins I and II exclusively in pancreatic islets, while exocrine tissues were not stained by anti-annexin antibodies. Pancreatic islets were diffusely stained with no specific differences in distribution between different cell types. The expression of annexin I in pancreatic islets gradually increased with postnatal development. A developmental study of annexins I and II by western blot analysis essentially supported the results obtained by immunohistochemistry. In addition, the increasing expression of two protein tyrosine kinases, epidermal growth factor-receptor/kinase and pp60src, which phosphorylate annexin I and annexin II, respectively, and of protein kinase C, which phosphorylates both proteins, was also shown during postnatal development in rat pancreatic islets. Thus, a relationship between the expression of annexins I and II and the maturation of islet cell function is suggested.