Immunohistochemistry has been used to demonstrate the presence of nerve growth factor (NGF)-like immunoreactivity in normal and sectioned mouse sciatic nerves. In normal nerves, immunoreactive material was not visible unless a silk ligature had previously been applied to constrict the nerves, and only then in the segment of nerve immediately distal to the ligation. Immunoreactivity was visible as early as 2 h after application of the ligature. When nerves were sectioned prior to ligation to prevent the transport of material from nerve terminals within innervated tissues, the NGF-like immunoreactivity continued to accumulate. This accumulation also occurred when a portion of the proximal stump from sectioned nerves was removed from the animal and placed in culture. Quantitative estimate of NGF concentrations with a sensitive immunoassay showed that the amount of NGF present within a segment of the proximal stump of sectioned nerves more than doubled in a 24 h period. The findings indicate that NGF is produced by cells within sectioned nerves, and further suggest that in the normal intact nerve at least a proportion of the NGF being transported derives from these cells.