mRNA transcripts encoding neuropeptides were detected, by means of in situ hybridization, in the axonal compartments of different types of identified neurons in the central nervous system of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. All cell types studied contained axonal mRNA although the relative intensities of the hybridization signals (i.e., the intensity of the signal over the cell body versus that over the axonal compartment of a particular cell) varied greatly between the different cell types studied. Strong signals over the axonal compartment were obtained with an oligonucleotide probe specific for the molluscan insulin-related peptide gene III mRNA, whereas low signals were obtained, e.g., with a probe for the mRNA encoding the neuropeptide APG-Wamide. Furthermore, some neurons are known to express more than one neuropeptide gene, e.g., the molluscan insulin-related peptide-producing light green cells and the egg-laying hormone-producing caudo-dorsal cells; these cell types express 4 and 2 related neuropeptide genes, respectively. The results may indicate that the different neuropeptide transcripts within a neuron are transported selectively to the axonal compartment.