An amino acid-defined, folate-deficient diet was used to investigate the regulation of pancreatic glycine N-methyltransferase in vivo. This enzyme modulates the ratio of S-adenosylmethionine to S-adenosylhomocysteine and is inhibited by bound folate in vitro. Rats were fed either a folate-deficient diet, a folate-supplemented diet (pair-fed to the deficient group), or a folate supplemented diet ad libitum and measurements were made after 2, 3, and 4 wk. Folate concentrations were greatly reduced in the folate-deficient pancreas after only 2 wk and pancreatic glycine N-methyltransferase activity was elevated but the amount of immunologically measured enzyme protein was the same. The ratio of S-adenosylmethionine to S-adenosylhomocysteine was rapidly reduced in the deficient pancreas. This ratio was also reduced with age in the ad libitum control rats. The pancreas of deficient rats had more immature secretory granules and the ducts were devoid of secreted material.