Pancreatic polypeptide (PP), 36-amino acid peptide, may function as an important feedback inhibitor of pancreatic secretion after a meal. It arises from both islet and acinar cells of the pancreas. Release of PP by a meal, primarily protein, occurs in a biphasic manner. The first rapid release occurs as a result of vagal stimulation; the second, more prolonged rise (the so-called intestinal phase) occurs in response to hormonal stimulation, predominantly cholecystokinin. Plasma PP levels increase with age; PP levels are elevated above those of age-controlled normal subjects in diabetic patients and in some patients with pancreatic amine precursor uptake decarboxylase tumors. The value of plasma PP as a possible marker for pancreatic tumors is as yet unsettled but may be a valuable tool.