Nerve growth factor is a peptide that supports the survival and differentiation of discrete neuronal populations in the peripheral and central nervous systems. NGF binds to both trkA, a tyrosine kinase receptor, and to the p75 nerve growth factor receptor, a protein lacking a consensus signalling sequence. We have identified a substituted pyrazoloquinazolinone, PD 90780, which inhibits binding of nerve growth factor to the p75 receptor. This inhibition of binding occurs due to PD 90780 binding to nerve growth factor, not to the p75 receptor. This compound may be useful in identifying the region(s) of nerve growth factor involved in binding to the p75 receptor and in clarifying the role of p75 receptor in the actions of the neurotrophins.