We tested whether IGFBP-1, a modulator of IGF-I action, would play a role in the pathogenesis of growth failure and metabolic picture of Turner syndrome. Fasting serum levels of IGFBP-1 were assessed in nineteen girls with Turner syndrome (aging 6.5 to 17.2 years) by radioimmunoassay. Our patients showed normal values of IGFBP-1 (mean +/- SD: 68.6 +/- 32.5 micrograms/l, range: 16 to 134 micrograms/l; range for age and pubertal stage-matched normal children: 15 to 180 micrograms/l). IGFBP-1 levels inversely correlated with bone age (p <0.05), weight (p <0.001), percentage of ideal body weight (p <0.002) and body mass index (BMI) (p <0.001). Our results seem to rule out a role of IGFBP-1 in the pathogenesis of growth failure in Turner syndrome. The close inverse relationship between IGFBP-1 levels and BMI suggests the serum concentrations of IGFBP-1 to be regulated by the nutritional status. Due to IGFBP-1 inhibiting action on IGF biological activity, the reduction of IGFBP-1 levels in overweight subjects might represent a mechanism to enhance the IGF insulin-like activity, thus supplementing the insulin action.