1. Growth hormone (GH) secretion is thought to occur under the reciprocal regulation of two hypothalamic hormones, namely GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin (SRIF), through their engagement with specific cell-surface receptors on the anterior pituitary somatotropes. 2. In addition to GHRH and SRIF, synthetic GH-releasing peptides (GHRP) or GH secretagogue(s) (GHS) regulate GH release through the activation of a novel receptor, the GHS receptor (GHS-R). 3. The cloning of the GHS-R from human, swine and rat identifies a novel G-protein-coupled receptor involved in the control of GH secretion and supports the existence of an undiscovered hormone that may activate this receptor. 4. Varieties of intracellular signalling systems are suggested to mediate the action of GHS, which include changes in intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i), cAMP, protein kinases A and C, phospholipase C etc. 5. With regard to the use of signalling systems by GHS, especially a new form of GHRP or GHRP-2, a clear species difference has been demonstrated, supporting the possibility of more than one type of GHS-R.