The effects of bombesin on amylase release and the receptor binding of 125I-[Tyr4]bombesin in the rat pancreatic acinar carcinoma cell line AR42J were examined. Bombesin-like peptides stimulated amylase release from AR42J cells in a dose-dependent manner; a maximal 2-fold stimulation occurred at a bombesin concentration of 300 pM. Binding of 125I-[Tyr4]-bombesin to AR42J cells was specific, saturable and temperature dependent. The relative potencies with which various structurally related peptides stimulated amylase release correlated well with their relative abilities to compete for the bombesin receptor. © 1987 Academic Press, Inc. All rights reserved.