The Notch pathway is thought to define an evolutionarily conserved signaling mechanism that regulates the differentiation of immature cells through cells interactions. We have examined the expression of the Notch-1 receptor, the central element of this pathway, in the developing rat retina, where cell-fate choices depend upon a series of local cell interactions. Notch-1 immunoreactivity is associated with differentiating cells at different stages of retinal neurogenesis, suggesting that Notch-1 may play a role in the successive cell-fate determination which governs retinal development. In addition, the Notch-1 immunoreactivity is detected in nuclei of postmitotic, differentiated neurons of the adult retina. Our observations raise the possibility that besides its role in the differentiation of immature cell populations Notch-1 activity may also be involved in the maintenance of the differentiated state.