Insulin and the insulin-like growth factors (IGF)-I and -II are closely related peptides important for regulation of metabolism, growth, differentiation, and development. The IGFs exert their main effects through the IGF-I receptor. Although the insulin receptor is the main physiological receptor for insulin, this peptide hormone can also bind at higher concentrations to the IGF-I receptor and exert effects through it. We used microarray gene expression profiling to investigate the gene expression regulated by IGF-I, IGF-II, and insulin after stimulation of the IGF-I receptor. Fibroblasts from mice, knockout for IGF-II and the IGF-II/cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor, and expressing functional IGF-I but no insulin receptors, were stimulated for 4 h with equipotent saturating concentrations of insulin, IGF-I, and IGF-II. Each ligand specifically regulated a group of transcripts that was not regulated by the other two ligands. Many of the functions and pathways these regulated genes were involved in, were consistent with the known biological effects of these ligands. The differences in gene expression might therefore account for some of the different biological effects of insulin, IGF-I, and IGF-II. This work adds to the evidence that not only the affinity of a ligand determines its biological response, but also its nature, even through the same receptor.