OBJECTIVE To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on pancreatic glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1 R), pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX-1) protein expression and blood glucose in type 2 diabetes rats, so as to explore the underlying mechanism of EA treatment in improving type 2 diabetes. METHODS Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into blank control group, model group, "Weiwanxiashu" (EX-B 3) group, "Xinshu" (BL 15) group, and "Shenshu" (BL 23) group, 12 rats in each group. Diabetes model was established by feeding the rat with high fat and high sugar diet combined with intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg). All the EA groups received 2 Hz, 2 mA continuous wave treatment for 20 min everyday, 6 times per week lasting for 4 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was measured by Roche glucometer before and after treatment. Hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and Masson staining were used to detect pancreas morphology. GLP-1 R and PDX-1 protein expressions in the pancreas were detected by Western blot. RESULTS Compared to the blank control group, fasting blood glucose was significantly increased in the model group(P<0.01), accompanied with shrunken islet area, reduced nucleus counts of islet β cells, and compensatorily enlarged β cell nucleus. Compared to the model group, EA intervention significantly reduced fasting blood glucose level only in the EX-B 3 group (P<0.05), partly restored pancreas morphology and nucleus counts of islet β cells in the EX-B 3, BL 15, and BL 23 groups. Compared to the blank control group, GLP-1 R and PDX-1 expressions were decreased in the model group (P<0.01), while EA treatment could obviously increase GLP-1 R expression in the EX-B 3(P<0.01), BL 15 (P<0.01) and BL 23 (P<0.05) groups compared with the model group. The expression of GLP-1 R in the BL 15 group was the highest among the three EA groups (P<0.05,P<0.01), and that in the EX-B 3 group was higher than in the BL 23 group (P<0.05).There were no signifincant differences in the expression of PDX-1 protein among the three EA groups (P>0.05). CONCLUSIONS EA treatment at EX-B 3 can reduce blood glucose via regulating pancreas function, increasing pancreatic GLP-1 R expression, and partly restoring the morphology of pancreas.