The secretory and motor responses of the Brunner's gland region of the duodenum to luminal acidification were examined in rabbits anesthetized with urethan. Isomotic solutions of sodium chloride (pH 7.2) were perfused continuously through adjacent in situ segments. The pH of the perfusate of the proximal segment was changed to 2.0 for 30 min. Perfusion pressure (motor response) and volume and hexosamine concentration (secretory response) of the effluent were recorded for 3 h. The motor and secretory responses to luminal acidification were examined after intravenous (atropine) or intraluminal (lidocaine) pretreatment. Responses to intravenous infusions of serotonin or secretin were determined, also. Both atropine and lidocaine eliminated the initial motor and secretory responses of the proximal segment. Lidocaine eliminated the delayed secretory response of the distal segment. Serotonin caused initial motor and secretory responses, but secretin caused a delayed secretory response only. These results suggest that duodenal acidification elicits a two-phase increase in Brunner's gland secretion, the first being motor-dependent and the second motor-independent. The initial motor response was mediated by a local reflex composed of cholinergic and perhaps tryptaminergic receptors. The delayed secretory response was mediated by local and nonlocal, possibly hormonal, factors. Increased duodenal motility may provide a vehicle for the rapid expulsion of mucus, and thereby serve an important role in the function of the Brunner's glands.