We demonstrated previously that pancreatic secretion of individual enzymes is specifically regulated (1). In the present study, we investigated and defined contributing roles of cholinergic and cholecystokinin tones to the specific regulation of rat pancreatic secretion of digestive enzymes. Animals were provided with pancreatic, biliary, duodenal, and jugular vein cannulas allowing separate drainage of bile and pure pancreatic juice, as well as intravenous infusions of MK329 or atropine sulfate along with SMS 201-995 (SMS). Rats kept in restraint cages were divided into four groups. The first rat group was infused with 5 micrograms kg-1 h-1 SMS alone; the second group was infused with a mixture of SMS and MK329 (5 micrograms kg-1 h-1:0.5 mg kg-1 h-1); the third group received a mixture of SMS and atropine (5 micrograms kg-1 h-1); and rats in the fourth group were administrated a mixture of SMS, MK329, and atropine (5 micrograms kg-1 h-1:0.5 mg kg-1:100 micrograms kg-1 h-1). Food, but not water, was denied rats 10 h before the experiment and throughout the 6-h experimental period. During the experiment, pancreatic juice was continuously collected every 15 min from each rat, and a 15-microliter aliquot of the pancreatic juice sample was removed for total protein, amylase, lipase, trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen, and proelastase assays. Pancreatic juice previously collected from a donor rat was mixed with the fresh bile and the mixture was recirculated into the duodenum. The secretory patterns over the 6-h experimental period showed that during the first hour of drug infusion, MK329 alone did not alter the SMS-induced inhibitory process of total protein and amylase, trypsinogen, and proelastase secretion, and there was no marked change in total protein and enzyme outputs. Adding atropine to SMS did not alter the secretory pattern during the first hour of drug infusion, but a significantly greater decrease in protein and enzymes outputs occurred. Correlations between paired enzyme outputs greatly increased with SMS alone, but some changed when either MK329 or atropine was infused along with SMS. When all drugs were infused together, enzyme outputs became strongly correlated. These results suggest that under fasting conditions, somatostatin and atropine can neutralize basal pancreatic enzyme outputs, leading to a constitutive type of secretion characterized by parallel secretion of the digestive enzymes. Furthermore, it is proposed that under basal secretion conditions, acetylcholine and cholecystokinin reaching the pancreatic acinar cells may act to dissociate pancreatic secretion of individual digestive enzymes originating from heterogeneous secretory granules.