Rainbow trout gill tissue was used to examine the role of somatostatin (SS) on insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) receptor expression. In vivo implantation of fish with somatostatin-14 (SS-14) reduced expression of IGF-I receptor mRNAs as well as [(125)I]-IGF-I binding. In vitro incubation of gill filaments with SS-14 or various SS isoforms, including SS-28 and [Tyr(7), Gly(10)]-SS-14-containing peptides, directly inhibited IGF-I receptor mRNA expression. SS-14 also inhibited [(125)I]-IGF-I binding in vitro. These data indicate that SSs inhibit the mRNA and functional expression of IGF-I receptors in gill, and suggest that SSs regulate growth in an extrapituitary manner by reducing sensitivity to IGF-I.