An increase in glomerular size occurs in normal maturation after subtotal renal ablation and disease states such as diabetes mellitus. The role that growth hormone (GH), growth hormone releasing factor (GHRF), and insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1) play in these processes has been investigated using transgenic mice chronically expressing these hormones. The glomeruli were enlarged in all 3 strains of mice. Mesangial proliferation followed by progressive glomerulosclerosis was observed in the GH and GHRF animals only. In the IGF-1 mice the large glomeruli remained morphologically normal except for the enlargement. These data suggest that the glomerulosclerosis was due, in part, to disordered mesangial cell growth in response to circulating GH. The mesangial lesions in mice with chronically high plasma GH levels mimicked those in human diabetes mellitus. These models provide a means to study the hormonal regulation of glomerular growth and the role that specific hormones might play in the pathogenesis of glomerulosclerosis.