[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trachea is intensely innervated with vagal afferent nerve fibers, and may play an important role in vagus nerve regeneration after axonal injury caused by trauma and surgical operation. We investigated the effects of tracheal tissue on neuronal cell survival and neurite regeneration in adult rat nodose ganglia (NG) in vitro. Co-culture with trachea significantly increased the average number of neurites regenerated from transected nerve terminals of NG explants, from 73.7 to 154.2 after 3 days, from 68 to 186.7 after 5 days, and from 31 to 101.5 after 7 days in culture. Dissociated NG neurons could continue to survive and extend neurites only in the co-existence with satellite cells in collagen gel. Co-cultured trachea improved the ratios of survival and neurite-bearing cells of NG neurons, from 56.7% and 11.1% to 72.3% and 37.6% after 4 days, and from 41.1% and 20.3% to 56.4% and 47.2% after 7 days in culture, respectively. These results imply that tracheal tissue secretes a factor, which could enhance neuronal cell survival and neurite regeneration in NG in the presence of satellite cells in vitro.