Pancreatic polypeptide (PP) is a gut hormone released from the pancreas in response to food ingestion and remains elevated for up to 6 h postprandially. Plasma levels are elevated in patients with pancreatic tumours. An intravenous infusion of PP has been reported to reduce food intake in man, suggesting that PP is a satiety hormone. We investigated whether a lower infusion rate of PP would induce significant alterations in energy intake. The study was randomised and double-blinded. Fourteen lean fasted volunteers (five men and nine women) received 90 min infusions of PP (5 pmol/kg per min) and saline on two separate days. The dose chosen was half that used in a previous human study which reported a decrease in appetite but at supra-physiological levels of PP. One hour after the end of the infusion, a buffet lunch was served and energy intake measured. PP infusion was associated with a significant 11 % reduction in energy intake compared with saline (2440 (se 200) v. 2730 (se 180) kJ; P < 0·05). Preprandial hunger as assessed by a visual analogue score was decreased in the PP-treated group compared to saline. These effects were achieved with plasma levels of PP within the pathophysiological range of pancreatic tumours.