Specific radioimmunoassay were used to measure somatostatin and vasoactive peptide in portal and peripheral plasma from conscious dogs prepared with indwelling portal catheters. In six animals with intact stomachs, a test meal induced a significant rise of portal and peripheral somatostatin, while the significant response of vasoactive intestinal peptide in portal plasma was not reflected in peripheral blood. Similar somatostatin and vasoactive intestinal peptide responses were observed in six dogs previously submitted to antrectomy and Billroth I anastomosis, when given the same test meal, while the gastrin response was 20% of the response in the intact dogs (P < 0.01). The effects of intragastric instillation of 300 ml dextrose, casein hydrolysate, and Intralipid, adjusted to 300 mosmol/kg and pH 7.0, were studied in six dogs with intact stomachs. Casein and Intralipid induced significant increases of somatostatin in portal and peripheral plasma, while VIP increased after Intralipid only, both in portal and peripheral blood. Dextrose resulted in no significant variation of either peptide in portal or in systemic plasma. Intraduodenal infusion of isotonic bile induced a significant release of somatostatin, both in portal and peripheral plasma, but no significant vasoactive intestinal peptide response. These results indicate that several factors can evoke a significant release of somatostatin in dogs, and that the variations of the peptide concentration in portal plasma are reflected in peripheral blood. Among the factors tested, only intragastric fat evoked a vasoactive intestinal peptide response that could be measured in peripheral blood.