The expression of the insulin like growth factor II gene has been examined in the developing porcine embryo. It was found that IGF II transcripts were present in abundant quantities in first trimester embryos as well as in the extraembryonic tissues amnion and allantochorion. The expression of the IGF II gene was high in the fetal liver where a prominent 2.3 kB transcript and a less abundant 5.4 kB transcript were produced. However, neither of these transcripts could be traced in the adult liver. Instead we found two different IGF II transcripts with the sizes of 4.7 and 1.2 kB in the adult liver. These findings indicate that the IGF II gene is under developmental control with the possible existence of different promoters.