Tie-2, a tyrosine kinase receptor, is essential for vascular integrity by regulating cellular adhesion between pericytes and endothelial cells. The aim of this study was to identify sites of expression of Tie-2 other than the vasculature. Tie-2 expression was first detected in human colon by Western blotting and reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in tissue extracts. The presence of the Tie-2 mRNA and protein was detected by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization in cells of the colon myenteric and submucosal plexus, in both neuronal and Schwann cells. Tie-2 protein was also found in the nervous system of the female urogenital tract. In the human sciatic nerve and schwannoma, RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry analysis further confirmed the presence of Tie-2 mRNA and protein in non-autonomic peripheral nervous tissue. In conclusion, using several approaches and tissues we have demonstrated the presence of Tie-2 in human peripheral and autonomic nervous tissue, suggesting a role for Tie-2 in neural tissue. Thus, attempts to disrupt the tumour vessels by manipulation of the Tie-2 system in tumours may result in side-effects in peripheral nerves.