In this study, we have cultured in vitro purified trophoblastic cells from first-trimester and term human placenta. These cells were obtained by specific enzymatic digestion and centrifugation through a Percoll gradient. Using 2 specific monoclonal antibodies, the pituitary 22-kD growth hormone (GH) and the placental GH variant were assayed in the culture medium by radioimmunoassay. After 48 h of culture, only the placental GH variant was measured in the medium corresponding to first-trimester placenta (3.4 ng/24 h/10<sup>5</sup> cells). Surprisingly, an immunoactivity pattern of pituitary GH type was found in 3 out of 5 media conditioned with term placenta cells, while GH immunoactivity was very low, around the detection level, in the 2 others. These secretions are not modified with the time in culture and the state of differentiation of the cells from cytotrophoblast to syncytiotrophoblast. Neither in early nor in term placenta does the addition of GH-releasing factor (10<sup>-6</sup> M in the culture medium) stimulate the secretion of pituitary 22-kD GH or placental GH variant.