Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) are growth-regulatory molecules that stimulate chemotaxis, proliferation, and increased metabolism of primarily connective tissue cells. In a survey of normal tissues, we found specific immunostaining for PDGF B-chain in neurons, principal dendrites, some axons, and probable terminals throughout the brain, in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, and in the posterior pituitary of a nonhuman primate (Macaca nemestrina). PDGF activity was extracted from brain cortex and posterior pituitary, and ubiquitous expression of transcripts for the two chains of PDGF and both PDGF receptors was detected throughout the brain and posterior pituitary. A transgenic model was also evaluated in which the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene was placed under transcriptional control of the PDGF B-chain promoter. The transgene was preferentially expressed within neural cell bodies in the cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. PDGF may act as a neuronal regulatory agent. Neuronal release of PDGF could contribute to nerve regeneration and to glial proliferation that leads to gliosis and scarring.