Previous studies of the control of pepsin secretion by neurohumoral agents showed some discrepancies between in vitro (isolated cells) and in vivo experiments. In the present work, the effects on pepsin secretion of CCK, pentagastrin, secretin, VIP, neurotensin, histamine, and methacholine were reinvestigated in conscious gastric fistula rats, in comparison to acid secretion. ED50's and doses inducing maximal responses were measured to directly compare the potency and efficacy of these substances. Methacholine was the most efficient (maximal response = 4.5 x basal level, ED50 = 1.3 mumol/kg.h) and CCK the most potent (ED50 = 1.9 nmol/kg.h) stimulant, whereas secretin was a potent (ED50 regulators of pepsin secretion in the rat. Pentagastrin and histamine did not stimulate pepsin output, as found by others with isolated chief cells in vitro. Neurotensin and large doses of VIP marginally inhibited pepsin secretion.