Abstract Using two-site enzyme immunoassays, we measured protein levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα), and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (HB-EGF) in adult rat brain, and compared them with the phosphorylation levels of their receptor (ErbB1). There were significant variations in the brain distributions of each ErbB1 ligand. Among these ErbB1 ligands, HB-EGF protein levels were higher than those of TGFα and those of EGF were the lowest. TGFα protein was relatively enriched in the midbrain regions, while HB-EGF levels were most abundant in the cerebellum. Protein distributions of the EGF family members were discordant with previously reported mRNA distributions. In addition, there was significant basal ErbB1 phosphorylation detected with the largest amount of activation in the midbrain. These observations suggest that the activation of brain ErbB1 involves post-translational regulation of multiple EGF family members in a region-specific manner.