Growth hormone (GH) plays a dual role in glucose homeostasis. On the one hand, it exerts an insulin antagonistic effect on the peripheral tissue, on the other hand, it stimulates insulin biosynthesis and beta-cell proliferation. The expression of GH-receptors on the rat insulinoma cell line RIN-5AH-T2-clone B was studied. The binding characteristics with regard to specificity for the native 22 kDa hGH, and the 20 kDa variant were similar to that reported on rat adipocytes. Normal rat islet cells showed a similar affinity for hGH. The RIN cells express GH receptors similar to the cloned liver receptor. It is hypothesized that defects in the receptor expression on the beta-cells may contribute to the susceptibility to develop diabetes.