The distribution of nerve growth factor-like immunoreactivity has been examined in the embryonic mouse with special reference to the CNS. The intensity of the immunoreactive stain was found to be greatest on embryonic days 15 and 16. The antigen is widespread and present in high concentrations in both the PNS and CNS. Most intense staining was detected in cranial nerve tracts, hippocampus, developing white matter of the spinal cord and tegmentum. Lower intensities were found within diencephalic regions, spinal cord grey matter, medullary fibre tracts and cerebellum. These results support the increasing evidence suggesting that the trophic molecule nerve growth factor has an important role to play in the development of central as well as peripheral neurons.