Abstract: The pituitary gland expresses cytokines and their receptors. IL-2 receptor transcripts and protein products are co-localized in ACTH-, PRL-, and GH-producing cells (double immunofluorescence). IL-2 and IL-6 (1-1000 IU/ml) are involved in the autocrine/paracrine regulation of normal and tumor (GH3 mammosomatotroph cell line and adenoma cell cultures) anterior pituitary hormone-producing cell growth (cell number, DNA synthesis, c-fos mRNA expression and autoradiography combined with hormone staining). IL-1 regulates the growth of normal pituitary cells but does not act on GH3 cells. IL-1ra, which blocks this action, is expressed in tumoral pituitary (mainly GH- and ACTH-) cells. In ACTH- cells, IL-1 enhances glucocorticoid feedback, stimulating glucocorticoid response element transcriptional activity. Cytokines, through specific functional receptors, act as inter/auto-cellular factors that regulate not only the function but also the growth of anterior pituitary cells.