Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have become an important model organism for developmental biology and human health studies. We recently demonstrated differential growth patterns between the zebrafish and a close relative the giant danio (Danio aequipinnatus), where the giant danio appears to exhibit indeterminate growth similar to most fish species important for commercial production, while zebrafish exhibit determinate growth more similar to mammalian growth. This study focused on evaluating muscle growth regulation differences in adult zebrafish and giant danio utilizing growth hormone treatment as a mode of growth manipulation. Growth hormone treatment resulted in increased overall growth in giant danio, but failed to increase growth in the zebrafish. Growth hormone treatment increased muscle IGF-I and GHrI gene expression in both species, but to a larger degree in the giant danio. In contrast, zebrafish exhibited a larger increase in IrA and IGF-IrB gene expression in muscle in response to GH treatment. In addition muscle myostatin levels were differentially regulated between the two species, with a down-regulation observed in rapidly growing, GH-treated giant danio and an up-regulation in zebrafish not actively growing in response to GH. This is the first report of differential expression of growth-regulating genes in closely related fish species exhibiting opposing growth paradigms. These results further support the role that the zebrafish and giant danio can play important model organisms for determinate and indeterminate growth. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.