Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) system that is exerted mainly through the type 1 IGF receptor (IGFR-1) and releasing of free IGF-I is regulated by the proteases of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs), an important factor in follicle development of bovine ovary. The aims of the present study were to examine the mRNA expressions of IGF-I, IGFR-1 and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) in granulosa cells and theca tissues during bovine follicular development and the effects of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol (E2) on the expression of these genes in cultured bovine granulosa cells. Follicles were classified into four groups such as small follicle (SF), estrogen inactive dominant follicle (EID), estrogen active dominant follicle (EAD) and preovulatory follicle (POF). The concentration of free IGF-I in follicular fluid of POF was significantly higher than those in EID, whereas the total IGF-I in follicular fluid did not change at all developmental stages. The expression of IGF-I mRNA was not detected in the granulosa cells at all at any developmental stages but the expression was detected in the theca tissues. The amount of IGFR-1 mRNA in granulosa cell showed the constant level at all developmental stages except EID. The expressions of IGFR-1 and PAPP-A in cultured bovine granulosa cells were stimulated with FSH but not with E2. The PAPP-A mRNA expression was stimulated by FSH in presence of 1 ng/ml E2. These results indicate that IGF-I in follicular fluid is mainly derived from the circulation and that FSH is an inducer for the expression of IGFR-1 and PAPP-A genes in granulosa cells. Therefore, we suggest that PAPP-A stimulated with FSH play a crucial role for IGF-I system in bovine follicular development.