The influence of gastric emptying of nutrients on plasma cholecystokinin and pancreatobiliary functions is poorly understood. We therefore temporally related the emptying of fat, protein, and glucose of a mixed meal to release of the gut hormones cholecystokinin, pancreatic polypeptide, and peptide YY and outputs of trypsin, lipase, bilirubin, and bile salts. Five healthy volunteers with a multilumen duodenal tube ingested a mixed meal with phase-specific markers for the aqueous phase, liquid fat, solid fat, and solid protein phases. Duodenal passage was determined by intraduodenal infusion of a second set of phase-specific nonabsorbable markers. Plasma cholecystokinin levels and pancreatobiliary secretions rose to a maximum at 30-60 min and then gradually declined (p less than 0.01) despite continued entry of protein and fat into the duodenum throughout the whole 4-h experimental period. High levels of both pancreatic polypeptide and peptide YY were observed in the last 2 h of the experiment. Release of factors capable of inhibiting cholecystokinin release and subsequently pancreatobiliary secretion may be responsible for the observed time-course.