The mechanisms by which somatostatin inhibits hormone release are complex and involve, among other things, reduction of both intracellular cAMP and intracellular calcium. We studied the influence of the long-acting somatostatin analogue octreotide on norepinephrine (NE)-induced changes in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) in fura-2 loaded single cells of a rat medullary carcinoma cell line, rMTC 6–23. Increases in the extracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]e) induced a sudden rise in [Ca2+]i which could be blocked by EGTA or the calcium channel blocker verapamil. NE evoked a similar increase in [Ca2+]i, which also could be blocked by the addition of EGTA or verapamil. Octreotide prevented or reversed the NE-induced increase in [Ca2+ ]i. Pretreatment of the cells with pertussis toxin abolished the inhibitory effect of octreotide. Thus we conclude that the NE-induced rise in [Ca2+]i is due to an influx of [Ca2+ ]e, most probably through voltage-dependent calcium channels. Octreotide inhibits the NE-stimulated rise in [Ca2+ ]i by a pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein, most probably through a direct effect on NE-activated calcium channels.