During development of the vertebrate visual system, an orderly projection of ganglion cells from the retina onto the superior colliculus (SC) is established. Mechanisms that might govern this process include the coordinated action of guidance and corresponding receptor molecules that are specifically distributed on the axons and their targets. In birds and mammals, information for axonal guidance and targeting appears to be confined to the time when the retinocollicular projection is being formed. Here we show that putative guidance activities for temporal and nasal retinal axons, which are not detectable in the normal adult SC, appear after optic nerve transection in adult rats. Both embryonic and adult retinal axons are able to respond to these guiding cues, although the guidance activities detectable in the deafferented adult rat SC might be different from those found during development. These findings imply that it might be possible to reestablish an ordered projection after lesions in the adult mammalian visual system.