A growth-promoting principle of the pituitary gland was discovered in 1921, and bovine growth hormone (GH) was isolated in 1944. Since then, the structure of GH as it relates to its biological activities has been an exciting research topic. Equally fascinating is the relationship between GH structure and its metabolic activities. In attempts to define some of these activities, several investigators have used GH transgenic mice as models. In this review we summarize what is known about the molecular mechanisms of GH action. We then describe some of the GH transgenic models and point out potential targets for nutrition research.