Controversial results concerning the secretion of glicentin prompted us to investigate the response of circulating glicentin to intraduodenal administration of glucose in piglets. A 20% solution of glucose (2 g/kg) was administered into the duodenum of six piglets in a fully conscious state. As blood glucose rose, plasma insulin increased to a peak of 21 +/- 4 microU/ml. Plasma glucagon, determined by C-terminal-specific antiserum, was 70 +/- 30 pg/ml at fasting and slightly increased after the glucose load. Plasma immunoreactive glucagon measured by cross-reacting glucagon antiserum increased from the baseline of 1563 +/- 260 to a peak of 4738 +/- 415 pg/ml at 120 min. Plasma glicentin determined by antiserum R 64 was 463 +/- 81 pmol/l at baseline and reached a peak level of 1081 +/- 174 pmol/l at 90 min. The percent changes of plasma glucagon from the fasting level measured by cross-reacting antiserum and glicentin were 296 and 233%, respectively. There was a significant correlation between plasma glucagon measured by cross-reacting antiserum and glicentin (r = 0.817, P less than 0.001). Chromatography of plasma obtained during glucose load revealed the heterogeneity of glicentin. It can be concluded from the present study that glicentin is clearly secreted in response to intraluminal administration of glucose.