A direct neural role in the regulation of immunoreactive glucagon (IRG) secretion has been investigated during stimulation of mixed autonomic nerves to the pancreas in anesthetized dogs. The responses were evaluated by measurement of blood flow and hormone concentration in the venous effluent from the stimulated region of pancreas. Electrical stimulation of the distal end of the discrete bundles of nerve fibers isolated along the superior pancreaticoduodenal artery was invariably followed by an increase in IRG output. With 10-min periods of nerve stimulation, the integrated response showed that the higher the control glucagon output, the greater was the increment. Atropinization did not influence the response to stimulation. That the preparation behaved in physiologic fashion was confirmed by a fall in IRG output, and a rise in immunoreactive insulin (IRI) output, during hyperglycemia induced by intravenous glucose (0.1 g/kg). The kinetics of this glucose effect on IRG showed characteristics opposite to those of nerve stimulation: the lower the control output, the less the decrement. Furthermore, during the control steady state, blood glucose concentration was tightly correlated with the IRI/IRG molar output ratio, the function relating the two parameters being markedly nonlinear. Injection or primed infusion of glucose diminished the IRG response to simultaneous nerve stimulation. Measurement of IRG was inferred to reflect response of pancreatic glucagon secretion on the basis of the site of sample collection (the superior pancreaticoduodenal vein), the absence of changes in arterial IRG, and similar responses being obtained using an antibody specific for pancreatic glucagon. THESE STUDIES SUPPORT A ROLE FOR THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM IN THE CONTROL OF GLUCAGON SECRETION: direct nerve stimulation induces glucagon release. Such sympathetic activation may be interpreted as capable of shifting the sensitivity of the A cell to glucose in the direction of higher glycemia for a given glucagon output. The experimental model employed is valid for further studies of regulatory mechanisms of endocrine pancreatic function in vivo.