Pituitary adenylyl cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) augment the biosynthesis of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). We tested whether secretin belonging to the glucagon/PACAP/VIP superfamily would increase transcription of the tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) gene and modulate catecholamine secretion. Secretin activated transcription of the endogenous Th gene and its transfected promoter (EC50 ∼4.6 nM) in pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. This was abolished by pre-treatment with a secretin receptor (SCTR) antagonist and by inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA), mitogen-activated protein kinase, or CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein). In agreement, secretin increased PKA activity and induced phosphorylation of CREB and binding to Th CRE, suggesting secretin signaling to transcription via a PKA-CREB pathway. Secretin stimulated catecholamine secretion (EC50 ∼3.5 μM) from PC12 cells, but this was inhibited by pre-treatment with VIP-preferring receptor (VPAC1)/PACAP-preferring receptor (PAC1) antagonists. Secretin-evoked secretion occurred without extracellular Ca2+ and was abolished by intracellular Ca2+ chelation. Secretin augmented phospholipase C (PLC) activity and increased inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) levels in PC12 cells; PLC-β inhibition blocked secretin-induced catecholamine secretion, indicating the participation of intracellular Ca2+ from a phospholipase pathway in secretion. Like PACAP, secretin evoked long-lasting catecholamine secretion, even after only a transient exposure. Thus, transcription is triggered by nanomolar concentrations of the peptide through SCTR, with signaling along the cAMP-PKA and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathways and through CREB. By contrast, secretion is triggered only by micromolar concentrations of peptide through PAC1/VPAC receptors and by utilizing a PLC/intracellular Ca 2+ pathway. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.