Superoxide anion (O(2)(-*)) production was previously reported to be increased in celiac ganglia (CG) during DOCA-salt hypertension, possibly via activation of the reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. This suggested a role for neuronal NADPH oxidase in autonomic neurovascular control. However, the expression and localization of NADPH oxidase in the peripheral neurons are not fully known. The purpose of this study was to examine the subcellular localization of NADPH oxidase in sympathetic and sensory ganglion neurons and perivascular nerve fibers. In rat CG, p22(phox) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) were colocalized in all neurons. P22(phox) was also localized to dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons that contain calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP). In mesenteric arteries, p22(phox) and p47(phox) were colocalized with NPY or CGRP in perivascular nerve terminals. A similar pattern of nerve terminal staining of p22(phox) and p47(phox) was also found in cultured CG neurons and nerve growth factor (NGF)-differentiated PC12 cells. These data demonstrate a previously uncharacterized localization of NADPH oxidase in perivascular nerve fibers. The presence of a O(2)(-*)-generating enzyme in close vicinity to the sites of neurotransmitter handling in the nerve fibers suggests the possibility of novel redox-mediated mechanisms in peripheral neurovascular control.