Mast cells and nerve growth factor (NGF) have both been reported to be involved in neuroimmune interactions and tissue inflammation. In many peripheral tissues, mast cells interact with the innervating fibers. Changes in the behaviors of both of these elements occur after tissue injury/inflammation. As such conditions are typically associated with rapid mast cell activation and NGF accumulation in inflammatory exudates, we hypothesized that mast cells may be capable of producing NGF. Here we report that (i) NGF mRNA is expressed in adult rat peritoneal mast cells; (ii) anti-NGF antibodies clearly stain vesicular compartments of purified mast cells and mast cells in histological sections of adult rodent mesenchymal tissues; and (iii) medium conditioned by peritoneal mast cells contains biologically active NGF. Mast cells thus represent a newly recognized source of NGF. The known actions of NGF on peripheral nerve fibers and immune cells suggest that mast cell-derived NGF may control adaptive/reactive responses of the nervous and immune systems toward noxious tissue perturbations. Conversely, alterations in normal mast cell behaviors may provoke maladaptive neuroimmune tissue responses whose consequences could have profound implications in inflammatory disease states, including those of an autoimmune nature.