Cell surface markers of neuronal precursor cells are of interest since they allow the isolation of these cells from mixed populations of cells. The monoclonal antibody (mAb) 2F7, a cell surface marker, has been shown to label neuronal precursors and post-mitotic neurones in the embryonic rat spinal cord and cortex. Little is known about the expression of the epitope recognised by mAb 2F7 in other regions of the developing brain. The present study found expression of this epitope in the embryonic rat cortex, ventral mesencephalon (VM) and striatum at times at which neurogenesis is known to occur in these regions. The expression profile of mAb 2F7 was similar to that of the polysialylated form of the neural adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), a commonly used marker of neuronal precursor cells. The percentage of mAb 2F7-positive cells incorporating bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was found to be comparable to that of PSA-NCAM-positive cells in primary cell cultures of embryonic rat cortex, VM and striatum. These data demonstrate that mAb 2F7 can be used as a cell surface marker for neuronal precursor cells in several regions of the embryonic rat brain.