TrkA is a receptor tyrosine kinase for nerve growth factor (NGF). Recent studies indicate that NGF regulates not only activation of trkA kinase but also expression of the trkA gene. To further define NGF actions on trkA, we examined binding and signaling through trkA after both short and long intervals of NGF treatment. Induction of tyrosine phosphorylation on gp140trkA was rapidly followed by down-regulation of cell surface and total cellular gp140trkA. At later intervals, increased expression of trkA was evident in increased mRNA and protein levels. At 7 days, there was increased binding to gp140trkA and increased signaling through this receptor. NGF appears to regulate trkA at several levels. In neurons persistently exposed to NGF, maintenance of NGF signaling may require increased trkA gene expression.