The role of cholecystokinin (CCK) in the regulation of gastric emptying and pancreatic enzyme secretion was evaluated by infusing the CCK-receptor antagonist loxiglumide. Gastric emptying rates and pancreatic secretory outputs were measured in five healthy volunteers by the double-indicator perfusion technique using a multiple-lumen tube in the duodenum. Placebo or loxiglumide (22 mumol.kg-1.h-1) was infused throughout each experiment. Five hundred-milliliter liquid intragastric meals of (a) fat, protein, and glucose (Ensure; Abbott, Chicago, IL); (b) glucose, 20 g/dL; and (c) guar gum, 1.1 g/dL, were given in random order. In addition, the effect of a physiologic CCK-8 dose (20 pmol.kg-1.h-1) after an intragastric 500-mL saline meal (0.154 mol/L) was tested. Intravenous CCK-8 induced a marked retardation of the gastric emptying rate of the saline solution (P less than 0.05) while stimulating pancreatic secretory outputs; both effects were completely abolished by the infusion of loxiglumide. Loxiglumide markedly accelerated the gastric emptying rates (by approximately 40%) and simultaneously diminished lipase (by approximately 75%) and trypsin (by approximately 50%) outputs of both the mixed meal (P less than 0.01) and the pure glucose meal (P less than 0.05). Additional experiments using gamma camera scintigraphy confirmed the accelerating effect of loxiglumide on gastric emptying of the mixed meal (P less than 0.01). The gastric emptying rate of the guar meal, which did not release CCK, was not influenced by the infusion of loxiglumide. Loxiglumide distinctly augmented plasma CCK levels after the mixed (2.6 times) and the pure glucose (2.1 times) meals while markedly reducing (approximately 76%) pancreatic polypeptide release (P less than 0.02). It is concluded that endogeneous CCK exerts a major role in the regulation of both gastric liquid emptying and pancreatic secretion in humans.