In the small intestine of the pig, neuromedin U (NMU)-immunoreactivity was mainly confined to the nerve plexus of the inner submucosal and mucosal regions. After colchicine treatment, a high number of immunoreactive nerve cell bodies was observed in the plexus submucosus internus (Meissner), whereas only a low number was found in the plexus submucosus externus (Schabadasch). The plexus myentericus as well as the aganglionic nerve meshworks in the circular and longitudinal smooth muscle layers almost completely lacked NMU-immunoreactivity. Double-labeling experiments demonstrated the occurrence of distinct NMU-containing neuron populations in the plexus submucosus internus: (1) relatively large type-II neurons revealing immunoreactivity for NMU and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and/or substance P (SP); (2) a group of small NMU- and SP-immunoreactive neurons; (3) a relatively low number of small neurons displaying immunoreactivity for NMU but not for SP. Based on its distributional pattern, it is concluded that NMU plays an important role in the regulation and control of mucosal functions.