The effect of nutritional status on IGF-I mRNA expression in the liver and brain of juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer) was investigated. Fish were either fed a satiety ration (SAT) or starved (STV) for 6 weeks. Starved fish demonstrated significantly lower condition factor and hepatic IGF-I mRNA expression at 3 and 6 weeks, when compared with the SAT group. IGF-I mRNA expression in the brain was 10 fold lower than the liver and was not affected by ration size. These results suggest the liver is the major site of IGF-I mRNA synthesis and hepatic but not brain IGF-I mRNA expression is regulated by food availability in juvenile barramundi.