We have here sought to cross-correlate the expression of immunoreactivities for several neuropeptides, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and the growth associated protein GAP-43 in subpopulations of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons tagged by the selective markers isolectin B4 and the neurofilament antibody RT97, selective for, respectively, subpopulations of small and large DRG neurons. By use of double- and triple-labeling immunohistochemistry, non-manipulated and sciatic nerve transected young adult rats as well as aged (30-months-old) rats were examined using a confocal microscope equipped with enhanced spectral separation. In young adult rats, the DRG neuron profiles could be divided into three subpopulations (B4 binding (B4+) approximately 50%; RT97-immunoreactive (RT97+) approximately 35%; B4-/RT97- approximately 15%). Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is expressed in all three subpopulations. Galanin message-associated peptide (GMAP) colocalize with CGRP (100%) but is not expressed in RT97+ profiles. NOS is present in the RT97- subpopulations and frequently colocalize with CGRP (92%). GAP-43 is expressed in all three DRG subpopulations and colocalize with CGRP (88%), GMAP (38%) and/or NOS (22%). Only very small differences were seen among the young adult rats, implicating that the size of respective subpopulation as well as the expression pattern for neuropeptides, NOS and GAP-43 are fairly stable. Sciatic nerve transection reduced B4-binding but not RT97-like immunoreactivity. Distinct changes in the expression of neuropeptides, NOS and GAP-43 were evident in the DRG subpopulations and, furthermore, the regulatory changes were very similar among the lesioned animals. The relative size of the DRG subpopulations was unaffected by aging, while the expression of neuropeptides was altered showing similarities with the changes induced by axotomy in young adult rats.