Incubating dispersed acini from guinea pig pancreas with bombesin and then washing the cells to remove bombesin reduced the subsequent stimulation of amylase secretion caused by bombesin, litorin, or ranatensin by as much as 80%, but did not alter the stimulation of amylase secretion caused by cholecystokinin, carbamylcholine, A23187 or vasoactive intestinal peptide. This bombesin-induced desensitization was reversible, and the onset of the process, as well as its reversal, were time and temperature dependent. Neither desensitization or resensitization were inhibited by abolishing protein synthesis. The concentrations of bombesin required to cause desensitization were in the same range as those required to stimulate amylase secretion. Incubating pancreatic acini with vasoactive intestinal peptide did not reduce the subsequent stimulation of amylase secretion caused by vasoactive intestinal peptide, bombesin, or cholecystokinin. These results indicate that bombesin-induced desensitization of pancreatic acini reflects changes that occur at or close to the bombesin receptor.