The peroxidase-antiperoxidase (PAP) method, and a specific monoclonal antibody (192-IgG) were used to determine the localization of nerve growth factor receptor (NGFr) in the skeletal muscles of the adult rats. The rectus femoris and the gastrocnemius (medialis and lateralis) muscles were analyzed. Occurrence of NGFr immunoreactivity was observed in: 1) a subpopulation of myelinated nerve fibers within muscle nerve trunks; 2) the vascular adventitia and nerve-like profiles around the blood vessels; 3) the outer capsule and the surface of the intrafusal muscle fibers of muscle spindles. Conversely, images, suggesting the presence of NGFr on muscle fibers or in motor end-plates, were not found. Our results suggest the presence of NGF-binding sites in sensory and sympathetic nerve fibers, and/or their target tissues localized on the skeletal muscles of the rat, whereas the motor nerve fibers lack of NGFr. The dependence of sympathetic neurons, proprioceptive primary sensory neurons, and motoneurons innervating the mammalian muscles upon NGF or other neurotrophic factors is discussed.