A line of transgenic mice expressing insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) under the control of the mouse metallothionien-1 promoter was crossed to a line of dwarf transgenic mice lacking GH expressing cells that were genetically ablated by diphtheria toxin expression. Mice generated from this cross that carry both transgenes express IGF-I in the absence of GH. These mice grew larger than their GH-deficient transgenic littermates and exhibited weight and linear growth indistinguishable from that of their nontransgenic siblings. These results confirm the suspected role of IGF-I in mediating GH's stimulation of somatic growth, including that of long bones, and illustrates the essential role of GH and IGF-I in the modulation of postnatal growth. Analysis of differences in organ growth among these mice, however, suggests that GH and IGF-I also have growth promoting actions that are independent of one another; GH appears to be necessary for the attainment of normal liver size, while IGF-I can stimulate brain growth.