The enhancement of the endocrine growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) system by the treatment with a sustained release formulation of a recombinant bovine GH (rBGH), is a good strategy to investigate growth optimization in aquaculture fish species. To further deepen into the knowledge of rBGH effects in fish and to estimate the growth potential of juveniles of gilthead sea bream, the present work evaluated rBGH injection on growth, GH/IGF-I axis and lipid metabolism modulation, and explored the conservation of GH effects provoked by the in vivo treatment using in vitro models of different tissues. The rBGH treatment increased body weight and specific growth rate (SGR) in juveniles and potentiated hyperplastic muscle growth while reducing circulating triglyceride levels. Moreover, the results demonstrated that the in vivo treatment enhanced also lipolysis in both isolated hepatocytes and adipocytes, as well as in day 4 cultured myocytes. Furthermore, these cultured myocytes extracted from rBGH-injected fish presented higher gene expression of GH/IGF-I axis-related molecules and myogenic regulatory factors, as well as stimulated myogenesis (i.e. increased protein expression of a proliferation and a differentiation marker) compared to Control fish-derived cells. These data, suggested that cells in vitro can retain some of the pathways activated by in vivo treatments in fish, what can be considered an interesting line of applied research. Overall, the results showed that rBGH stimulates somatic growth, including specifically muscle hyperplasia, as well as lipolytic activity in gilthead sea bream juveniles.