That orally administered antigen was shown to induce gastrin release in immunized animals was a new aspect of gastrointestinal physiology. The mediators responsible for this immunological effect are still unclear. In an attempt to discover more about the mechanisms regarding antigen-induced gastrin release, we developed an in vitro system where fragments of rat antral mucosa were challenged. This makes it possible to determine the role of antigen-antibody complexes and the complement system in the mechanism of antigen-induced gastrin release. Wistar rats were immunized in vivo with NIP-OVA and mucosal fragments were challenge, in vitro with NIP-HGG. Gastrin was determined after a preincubation and a challenged incubation period without supernatants. After antigenic challenge, supernatants were used for in vitro challenge in order to rule out the presence of a soluble mediator and activation of complement. In a second group of experiments Wistar rats were used to study in vitro the release of specific antibodies after antigenic challenge. With this experimental design we were able to show increased gastrin secretion after antigenic challenge in vitro in the presence of intact tissue. It is shown that the increased gastrin release is most probably mediated by activation of the complement system in the presence of antigen-antibody complexes. These are built up by specific anti-NIP antibodies and NIP-HGG used for the challenge. The complement system might be the final pathway of the observed increased gastrin release.