The role of pancreatic polypeptide (PP) and motilin in the regulation of the migrating motor complex (MMC) was studied in normal subjects. Both plasma motilin and PP levels changed cyclically in the fasted state and were highest in the late phase II period preceding the activity front in the duodenum. A continental breakfast invariably disrupted the MMC and induced a fed pattern of motility. After the meal plasma motilin levels decreased whereas PP levels rose significantly. Infusion of pure porcine motilin during the fasted state induced an activity front and a rise in plasma PP levels. Infusion of bovine PP in doses producing plasma PP levels above the postprandial values neither induced an activity front nor prevented its occurrence. During PP infusion, however, plasma motilin levels were low, although the activity front was not inhibited. PP seems to have no clear role in the regulation of the motor component of the MMC of man. The role of motilin in the production of the activity front of the MMC is discussed.