Epidermal growth factor is a well-defined peptide which stimulates cell growth and elicits cell responses in a variety of tissues by binding to specific receptors, EGF-R. A specific antiserum against the EGF receptor, which has previously been used to characterize EGF-R in human skin, fibroblasts, and smooth muscle, was used to survey the distribution of EGF-R in human nervous system. Portions of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded autopsy specimens were examined by use of immunohistochemical staining (PAP technique) with EGF-R antiserum. Many types of nerve cells, e.g., cerebral cortical pyramidal cells, hippocampal pyramidal cells, Purkinje cells, anterior horn cells, and dorsal root ganglion neurons, contained immunoreactive EGF-R. However, immunoreactive EGF-R were not detected in astrocytes, oligodendrogliocytes, and other small neurons such as granule cells. Intense immunostaining for EGF-R was also detected in ependymal cells from choroidal and extrachoroidal locations. Although immunoreactive EGF-R is widely distributed in human nervous system, the functional role of EGF and its receptor in the nervous system remains unknown.