Laminin is a high mol. wt. non-collagenous matrix glycoprotein, confined in adult tissues to basement membranes. In normal rat brain we found laminin mainly in vessel walls but, after injury, induced by stereotaxic injection of a neurotoxin, laminin immunoreactivity appeared also in reactive astrocytes, which are characteristically positive for the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Laminin was first detected in GFAP-immunoreactive glial cells 24 h after injury. Four days later the majority of reactive astrocytes in the gray matter were positive for laminin and the laminin immunoreactivity, but not that of GFAP, gradually subsided within a month. Fibronectin, the other major matrix glycoprotein, was found only in capillary structures both in normal and lesioned brain tissue. The results indicate that mature astrocytes have the potential to produce laminin and suggest a role for this glycoprotein in brain regeneration.