Intraperitoneal injection of 5 μg cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8) into male rats deprived of food for 48 h produced a transient (less than 15 min) increase in plasma levels of CCK-8 but suppressed food intake for an extended period (45 min). Plasma concentrations of CCK-8 after i.p. injection of CCK-8 were raised to levels which were fairly comparable to those after feeding. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of the CCK antagonist proglumide (100 μg) reversed the effect of CCK-8 on food intake, while i.p. injection of proglumide (100 μg) did not have this effect. Feeding increased the plasma concentrations of somatostatin and gastrin but not of oxytocin, and somatostatin and oxytocin but not gastrin were released in response to i.p. injection of CCK-8. However, neither somatostatin nor oxytocin affected food intake, and their release in response to CCK-8 was unaffected by i.c.v. injection of proglumide. These results support the suggestion that CCK-8 is a physiological 'satiety' peptide, which can affect food intake in rats by mechanisms involving both peripheral and central CCK receptors.