Somatomedin levels measured by radioreceptor assay, competitive protein-binding assay or radioimmunoassay are normal in hypercortisolism; the decrease of somatomedin activity consistently found in this condition is due to an increase in circulating somatomedin inhibitors resulting in an inhibition of somatomedin action. Progestagens could possibly have a direct stimulatory effect on somatomedin-C (Sm-C) production. During puberty, the increase of Sm-C is correlated with the increase in plasma estradiol and testosterone. In young subjects, relatively low doses of estrogens and of testosterone enhance Sm-C secretion, and in adult menstruating women, a positive relationship is found between testosterone and Sm-C values. An inhibitory effect of estrogens on Sm-C is observed with higher doses and/or in older subjects. Thus, somatomedin levels might be modulated by variations of sex steroids.