The effects of thyroxine and propylthiouracil on nerve growth factor concentrations in cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and brainstem of adult male mice were assessed by using a sensitive radioimmunoassay for the beta-subunit of mouse nerve growth factor. Thyroxine administration significantly increased the concentration of nerve growth factor in all three brain areas compared to control values, whereas propylthiouracil was without effect. These results suggest that thyroid hormones stimulate nerve growth factor synthesis in the mature central nervous system, and raise the possibility that the influence of thyroid hormones on central nervous system development might be mediated or influenced by nerve growth factor.