The neurons labeled by isolectin B4 (IB4) in rat and mouse sensory ganglia are often regarded as non-nerve growth factor (NGF)-dependent and non-peptidergic neurons, but a considerable number of IB4-positive neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) are also shown to be immunoreactive to substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which are synthesized by NGF-dependent neurons. Therefore, we examined the relationships between the IB4-binding neurons and NGF/glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)/GDNF-related proteins(GDNFs)-dependent neurons in rat DRGs by use of in situ hybridization histochemistry in serial sections. Of the DRG neurons, 42% and 22% were intensely and weakly labeled by IB4, respectively. The former neurons were small, and the latter varied in size. Of the trkA mRNA-expressing neurons, 29% and 57% were intensely and weakly labeled by IB4, respectively. On the other hand, 66% and 10% of the c-ret mRNA-expressing neurons were intensely and weakly labeled, respectively. The mRNA of somatostatin, another major neuropeptide in the sensory neurons, was exclusively expressed in the intensely IB4-labeled neurons. These findings suggest that many NGF-dependent and peptidergic sensory neurons are labeled by IB4 in rats.