Searching for differences in gene expression between different types of human pituitary adenomas, we evaluated the concentration of mRNA from hormonal genes (prolactin and growth hormone) and oncogenes (c-myc and c-fos) in 12 growth hormone-secreting 7 prolactin-secreting and 11 nonsecreting adenomas. We found a positive correlation between clinical diagnoses and hormonal gene expression in all the cases. Our reports indicate the presence of c-myc and c-fos mRNA in all the adenomas evaluated. The concentration of c-myc mRNA was higher in somatotrophic adenomas than in prolactinomas and nonsecreting adenomas whereas c-fos mRNA concentration was similar in the different types of tumours analysed. Oncogenes products, in turn, might stimulate DNA synthesis and cell proliferation and eventually lead to the formation of pituitary adenomas. This is a working hypothesis.