Cultured chicken hepatocytes were used to investigate whether insulin and GH interact to regulate insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) production in vitro. In the first set of experiments hepatocytes were preincubated for 6 h in hormone-free medium, and the effects of various combinations of insulin and GH on IGF-I production over the next 24 h were quantified by radioimmunoassay. Basal IGF-I production was 5·36 pg IGF-I/μg DNA and this was increased 1·31±0·13-fold (mean ± s.e.m.) by insulin, 1·90±0·24-fold by GH and 4·46±0·68-fold by a combination of insulin and GH. These results demonstrate that insulin and GH interact synergistically to stimulate IGF-I production in vitro. The synergism with GH occurred at physiological concentrations of insulin with half-maximal stimulation occurring at an insulin concentration of 6 ng/ml. In hepatocytes which had been exposed to insulin immediately before the start of the experiment, the presence of insulin was no longer required for maximal stimulation of IGF-I production by GH. This in-vitro system will facilitate the study of the molecular basis of the interaction between insulin and GH.