The effect of intravenous infusion of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) 27, a novel regulatory peptide that shows a close structural and chemical similarity to vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), on the rat exocrine pancreatic secretion was studied. PACAP and VIP stimulated the flow rate of exocrine pancreatic secretion (p < 0.05). However, protein output and amylase secretion were mainly stimulated by PACAP. Intravenous infusion of VIP increased the plasma levels of secretin (p < 0.05). On the other hand, PACAP released neither secretin nor VIP. Our results show: (a) both PACAP and VIP stimulate exocrine pancreatic secretion, (b) PACAP stimulation of pancreatic amylase and protein secretion is greater than that induced by VIP, and (c) PACAP probably exerts a direct effect on exocrine pancreas whereas some of the actions of VIP might be mediated by secretin.