Ingestion of a meal converts the fasting motor pattern, the migrating motor complex (MMC), to a fed pattern of motility. The role of specific anatomic gut regions involved in these changing patterns of motility and the neurohormonal factors which mediate these changes, however, are unknown. Our aim was to determine the neurohormonal mechanisms by which nutrients within the duodenal lumen alter proximal jejunal motility. Fifteen dogs were prepared with a gastric cannula, duodenal infusion catheter, duodenal and proximal jejunal manometry catheters, and a totally diverting cannula in the most proximal portion of the jejunum. Ten of the dogs also underwent complete in situ neural isolation of the entire jejunoileum. Experiments were performed in the fasting state with no infusion (0 ml/min) and during a 5-hr duodenal infusion (3 ml/min) of either a nonnutrient electrolyte solution or a mixed nutrient solution while diverting distal duodenal chyme from the jejunum. During sham infusion (0 ml/min), the MMC was present in neurally intact dogs (group 1) and dogs with neurally isolated jejunoileum (group 2). Nonnutrient infusion did not inhibit or consistently alter the MMC in either group. Nutrient infusion limited to the duodenum inhibited the MMC in both duodenum and jejunum in dogs with neurally intact and neurally isolated jejunoileum. Latency of onset of the fed pattern in the duodenum and jejunum did not differ between groups. We conclude that postprandial inhibition of the MMC in the jejunum is mediated, in part, by a hormonal mechanism induced by duodenal lumenal nutrients.