Brain astroglia in normal adult rats stained weakly or not at all with an antibody to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). A dramatic change took place after injury. The astrocytes adjacent to an entorhinal ablation and in deafferented areas of the hippocampus showed prominent EGFR immunoreactivity. Cells that were EFGR-immunoreactive also stained intensely with an antibody to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The localization and the time course of appearance of EGFR/GFAP immunoreactivity suggests that EGFR may be involved in the conversion of a normal into a reactive astrocyte.