Abstract The aim of this study was to determine the immunohistochemical expression and localization of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and epidermal growth factor-receptor (EGF-R) in developing rat ovaries. Eighteen female Wistar rats were enrolled in this study; newborn ( n = 6), one-month-old ( n = 6) and adult ( n = 6) rats. Formalin-fixed and parafin-embedded ovarian tissues were stained with antibodies against IGF-I, TGF-β2, bFGF and EGF-R, immunohistochemically. The ovarian cells were evaluated by semi-quantitative scoring system under light microscope. The staining of IGF-I, TGF-β2, bFGF and EGF-R were most intense in the oocytes and were heavily at one-month-old rats. A moderate immunostaining in theca cells and corpus luteii reacted with IGF-I in adult rats. Furthermore the staining intensity for IGF-I was moderate in granulosa cells of newborn rat ovaries. We detected also a moderate staining for TGF-β2 in corpus luteii of adult rats. In addition, we found a bFGF immunostaining mainly in oocytes of follicles of young and adult rats. Immunostaining for EGF-R was moderate in granulosa cells of one-month-old rats. In conclusion, this study suggests that growth factors play a pivotal role in ovarian function, especially in follicular development. The role of growth factor in controlling degeneration or growth (or both) of ovary follicles remain as explained.