Human adrenal glands contain high-affinity receptors for insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). Comparative studies with rat, hamster and human adrenal membranes confirmed that IGF-I receptors are most abundant in rat and hamster adrenals, whereas insulin and IGF-I receptors are present in equivalent numbers in human adrenal glands. Covalent crosslinking studies revealed that the human adrenal gland IGF-I receptor binding subunit migrated on dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gels with Mr = 135,000, which is identical to the migration of IGF-I receptor binding subunits isolated from other tissues. Autoradiography of frozen human adrenal slices incubated with [125I]insulin showed prominent, displaceable binding of this radioligand to the zona reticularis, zona glomerulosa, vasculature and medulla; in contrast, [125I]IGF-I binding to human adrenal tissue was most prominent in the zona reticularis and negligible in the medullary region. © 1989.