Abstract In the frog Rana esculenta, a multihormonal control of vitellogenin synthesis was previously demonstrated. Now in this study, the identity of intracellular second messengers that mediate the GH effects on hepatic VTG synthesis are described. The results clearly indicate that the effect of GH on frog hepatocytes, in vitro, works through a local production of IGF I; in fact, IGF I affects VTG synthesis and its action occurs faster with respect to that of GH. The effect of IGF I was abolished by the antiestrogen tamoxifen, indicating the involvement of estrogen receptor in VTG induction by IGF I. Furthermore, in vitro treatment of frog hepatocytes with GH resulted in an increase of cAMP with maximum levels after 20 min of treatment. Besides the increase of cAMP, GH induced the appearance of a new phosphotyrosine protein at 20 min, suggesting the occurrence of tyrosine kinase activation. Addition of adenylate cyclase or protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors completely abolished the induction of VTG synthesis, indicating the involvement of cAMP and of a phosphotyrosine protein in VTG synthesis stimulated by both GH and IGF I.