Peptide YY is a candidate enterogastrone localized to endocrine cells of the ileocolonic mucosa. The purpose of the present study was to determine if blood levels of peptide YY observed after perfusion of the intestine with fatty acids are capable of slowing gastric emptying. Gastric emptying of a 300-ml saline meal was monitored during intravenous infusion of normal saline or graded doses of peptide YY. Gastric emptying was significantly inhibited by infusion of peptide YY in doses of 200 and 400 pmol/kg X h. During the saline control study, 229 +/- 12 ml of the 300-ml saline meal emptied by 10 min. This figure was reduced (p less than 0.01) to 110 +/- 28 ml by the infusion of peptide YY at a dose of 200 pmol/kg X h. This dose of peptide YY produced plasma concentrations (delta PYY = 239 +/- 50 pM) that were lower than those seen in response to intestinal perfusion of oleic acid (delta PYY = 395 +/- 55 pM) in the same animals. We conclude that perfusion of the intestine with oleic acid releases peptide YY in amounts sufficient to slow gastric emptying.