Abstract To date experimental in vivo pheochromocytoma (PC) models have not been available. A major in vitro PC model consists of PC12 cells that respond to nerve growth factor (NGF) by differentiation, mediated by the trkA receptor. We report the establishment of PC12 tumor models expressing low and high levels of trkA receptor in CD1 nude mice. The tumors are characterized by their responsiveness to NGF, karyotype, presence of enolase, and chromaffin granules, as well as dopamine release. These novel PC models facilitate research on the role of the trkA receptor in cancer and the development of trkA-selective anti-cancer agents.