Mice transgenic for bovine growth hormone (bGH) develop an increase in body weight and glomerular lesions characterized by a disproportionate increment in glomerular volume and progressive mesangial sclerosis. The relationship between glomerular size and body growth in bGH mice was further investigated by examining mice transgenic for a mutated GH gene (bGH-m11) which failed to enhance body growth. The glomeruli in bGH-m11 mice exhibited an increase in size and glomerulosclerosis comparable to those found in bGH mice. The levels of alpha 1 type IV collagen mRNA, as measured by the competitive polymerase chain reaction in isolated microdissected glomeruli, were markedly elevated in mice transgenic for both bGH and bGH-m11 genes. These data suggest that body growth on one hand, and glomerular hypertrophy and sclerosis on the other hand, are mediated by different portions of GH or different second messenger signaling systems.