The cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK8)-derived synthetic peptides Boc-Tyr(SO3H)-Nle-Gly-DTrp-Nle-Asp-O-CH2-CH2-C6H5 (JMV179) and Boc-Tyr(SO3H)-Nle-Gly-DTrp-Nle-Asp-NH-CH2-CH2-C6H5 (JMV167) are antagonists of peripheral cholecystokinin (CCK) receptors in vitro. In the present study, antagonist activity of these peptides was studied on rat pancreatic secretion in vivo, and compared to those of other peptidic molecules and to the non-peptidic antagonists L364718, D-, L-, DL-lorglumide, and proglumide. The decreasing order of antagonist potencies on amylase release in vitro was L364718 greater than JMV179 greater than lorglumide greater than JMV167 greater than proglumide; JMV179 was 25 times less potent than L364718 and 300 times more potent than JMV167. The decreasing order of antagonist potencies on protein output in pancreatic juice in vivo was L364718 greater than JMV167 greater than JMV179 greater than lorglumide greater than proglumide; JMV167 was two times more potent than JMV179 and only 8 times less potent than L364718. Increased potency of JMV167, relative to JMV179 under in vivo conditions, is probably due to the slower rate of catabolism of the phenylethylamide group, relative to the phenylethylester group, since the metabolite issued from hydrolysis of the ester bond was totally inactive. This study shows that it is possible to obtain peptidic CCK antagonists, which are active and potent in vivo, and provides a quantitative measurement of potency changes occurring in vivo for several peptidic and non-peptidic antagonists.