This report describes the trophic effects of exogenous gastrin on the digestive tract and pancreas and the effect on the density of enterochromaffinlike cells in the oxyntic mucosa of the stomach. Female rats were given 1.2 or 2.4 nmol/kg.h of synthetic human [Leu15]-gastrin-17 for 28 days (via osmotic minipumps implanted subcutaneously). As a result, measurable plasma gastrin increased from about 230 pg/ml in the controls to about 500 and 800 pg/ml in the low- and high-dose groups, respectively. The trophic effects of gastrin were reflected in increased stomach weight and oxyntic mucosal mass. Gastrin also increased the enterochromaffinlike cell density and associated parameters (histamine concentration and histidine decarboxylase activity) but was without demonstrable effects on other parts of the digestive tract and pancreas. The results show that continuous infusion of exogenous gastrin for 28 days induces trophic changes similar to those seen after a period of hypergastrinemia induced by treatment with effective inhibitors of acid secretion.