Using organotypic cultures of the sympathetic ganglia and spinal cord from rats, studies have been made of the effect of opioid peptides on the development of the nervous tissue. It was found that endogenous opioid peptides (leu- and met-enkephalins, beta-endorphin) within the concentrations investigated (10(-9)-10(-10) M), stimulate the growth of neurites, affect the rate of migration and proliferation of the glial and fibroblast-like cells. The effect was observed at the 2nd--5th days of cultivation, depending on the object investigated. Naloxone, a blockator of the opiate receptors, does not abolish the stimulating effect of the opioid peptides. Using clonal line of fibroblast-like cells L6, it was shown that leu-enkephalin decreases the sensitivity to contact inhibition of growth. On the basis of the data obtained, it is suggested that endogenous opioid peptides act as non-specific factors of growth regulation in the development and regeneration of the nervous tissue. Taking into account the role of endorphins in the activity of noci-antinociceptive system possible significance of these compounds in post-injury reparation is discussed.