The afferent vagus nerve has been suggested to be an important component for transmitting peripheral immune signals to the brain. However, there is inconsistent evidence showing that subdiaphragmatic vagotomy did not inhibit the brain mediated behavioral and neural effects induced by the peripheral application of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS triggers innate immune cells through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). In the present study, we found that TLR4 mRNA and protein was expressed in the rat nodose ganglion. Thus, it is suggested that LPS could activate afferent vagus nerve at the level of nodose ganglion, which exists centrally from the subdiaphragmatic level of vagus nerve. The results could provide evidence for the novel pathway of LPS-induced afferent vagus nerve activation.