The effects of adrenalectomy and adrenal enucleation on liquid gastric emptying were studied in male Wistar rats that were adrenalectomized, adrenal enucleated (AE) or sham operated (SH). The animals in the first group had free access to a 1% NaCl solution (ADS), while the animals in the second and third groups were divided into two subgroups, which ingested either tap water (AEW, SHW) or 1% NaCl solution (AES, SHS). The gastric emptying study was performed on the 16th post-operative day. Three test meals labeled with phenol red (6 mg/dl) were used (0.9% NaCl, 1.8% NaCl and 5% glucose). Percent gastric retention was determined 10 min after orogastric infusion of the NaCl test meals and 15 min after the glucose meal. Gastric retention of the ADS subgroup was significantly lower (P<0.01) (median = 19.8% vs 25.5% for SHW, vs 31.9% for SHS, vs 25.7% for AEW, and vs 27.1% for AES) for the 0.9% NaCl test meal and for the 1.8% NaCl test meal (33.5% for ADS vs 47.5% for AEW and 50.6% for AES). When 5% glucose was used as a test meal, gastric retention was similar for all subgroups. These results suggest that ablation of the adrenal cortex results in increased gastric emptying of an isosmolar NaCl meal.