In a total of 101 children, the dehydroepiandrosterone (DHA) and cortisol (F) levels were measured before and after ACTH (Synacten®) administration. F responsiveness was unchanged during development, while DHA responsiveness in healthy children was highest during adrenarche. In hypopituitary patients DHA levels were lower than in the controls, but responsiveness to ACTH showed similar changes during development. Children with Turner’s syndrome and hypergonadotrophic males had the response in elevated DHA levels while ACTH-induced DHA response related to bone-age matched controls. We conclude that regulation of adrenal androgens is mediated by both ACTH and another hypothalamo-pituitary hormone, perhaps independent of gonadal activation, but requiring gonadal integrity.