Polycystic kidney (PKD) and liver (PLD) diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality. A large body of evidence indicates that cyclic AMP plays an important role in their pathogenesis. Clinical trials of drugs that reduce cyclic AMP levels in target tissues are now in progress. Secretin may contribute to adenylyl cyclase-dependent urinary concentration and is a major agonist of adenylyl cyclase in cholangiocytes. To investigate the role of secretin in PKD and PLD, we have studied the expression of secretin and the secretin receptor in rodent models orthologous to autosomal recessive (PCK rat) and dominant (Pkd2(-/WS25) mouse) PKD; the effects of exogenous secretin administration to PCK rats, PCK rats lacking circulating vasopressin (PCK(di/di)), and Pkd2(-/WS25) mice; and the impact of a nonfunctional secretin receptor on disease development in Pkd2(-/WS25):SCTR(-/-) double mutants. Renal and hepatic secretin and secretin receptor mRNA and plasma secretin were increased in both models, and secretin receptor protein was increased in the kidneys and liver of Pkd2(-/WS25) mice. However, exogenous secretin administered subcutaneously via osmotic pumps had minimal or negligible effects and the absence of a functional secretin receptor had no influence on the severity of PKD or PLD. Therefore, it is unlikely that by itself secretin plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of PKD and/or PLD.