The aim of our study was to document whether relationships existed among bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), peripheral nerve and neoplastic lesions of nerve sheath tumors. The mRNA transcriptions of BMP-2, 3, 4 and 5 in 10 cases of schwannoma, three cases of malignant schwannoma and two cases of trigeminal neuralgia were detected using an in situ hybridization technique. Our results demonstrated that the myelin sheaths of Schwann cell from the peripheral neuroectomy of trigeminal neuralgia positively expressed mRNA of BMP-2, 3, 4, and 5. The most interesting finding was that the nerve fibers of trigeminal nerve showed only BMP-2 positive staining. All of the neoplastic lesions of nerve sheath showed a consistent but variant expression of BMP-2, 3, 4, and 5. The expression signals of BMP-2, 3, 5 mRNA in malignant schwannoma were relatively lower than in benign lesions except for the expression of BMP-4 mRNA. Our results indicated that selected members of BMPs were expressed in the peripheral nerves that might contribute to the health maintenance, proliferation, regeneration and neoplastic transformation of the peripheral nerve system. Furthermore, the effects of BMP-2, 3, 4 and 5 on peripheral nervous system during neoplastic transformation might be widespread, diverse and antagonistic.