The effect of human growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor- I (IGF-I), IGF-II, and insulin on human plasma cell responses was studied. GH enhanced Ig production and thymidine uptake in the human plasma cell lines, IM-9 and AF-10. IGF-I, but not IGF-II or insulin, also enhanced Ig production and proliferation in them. However, enhancement by GH was not mediated by IGF-I, because enhancement was blocked by anti-GH antibody (Ab), but not by Ab to IGF-I or IGF-I receptor. Conversely, the enhancement by IGF-I was blocked by either Ab to IGF-I or IGF-I receptor, but not by anti-GH Ab. GH and IGF-I also enhanced production of IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, IgG4, IgA1, IgA2, and IgM and thymidine uptake in PCA-1+ plasma cells generated in vitro. Again, enhancement by GH was specifically blocked by anti-GH Ab, whereas enhancement by IGF-I was specifically blocked by either Ab to IGF-I or IGF-I receptor. These results indicate that GH and IGF-I may play important roles in plasma cell responses.