Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones transmit cutaneous sensory information from the periphery to the spinal cord. Within the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, classes of sensory fibres that are activated by different cutaneous stimuli terminate in separate and highly restricted laminae. Although the developmental events resulting in the laminar organization of sensory afferent terminals have not been defined, it is likely that interactions between surface molecules on DRG and dorsal horn neurones are involved in the generation of afferent synaptic connections. The identification of surface antigens that distinguish functional subclasses of DRG neurones would represent a first step in establishing the existence and nature of such molecules. We report here that monoclonal antibodies directed against carbohydrate differentiation antigens identify cytoplasmic and cell surface molecules expressed selectively by functional subsets of DRG neurons.