The objective of this study was to compare the expression of the nerve growth factor (NGF) receptors TrkA and p75 in ovarian borderline tumors, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage I carcinomas and advanced-stage (FIGO stage III-IV) carcinomas, and to assess a possible association between NGF receptor expression and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation in borderline tumors and FIGO stage I carcinomas. Sections from 119 borderline tumors, 57 FIGO stage I invasive ovarian carcinomas, and 56 advanced-stage carcinomas were evaluated for expression of activated phospho-TrkA (p-TrkA) and p75 using immunohistochemistry. MAPK activation was analyzed in stage I carcinomas and borderline tumors using phospho-specific antibodies against the extracellular-regulated kinase (p-ERK), the high osmolarity glycerol response kinase (p-p38), and the c-jun amino-terminal kinase (p-JNK). p-TrkA membrane expression was significantly more frequent in advanced-stage carcinomas compared with both borderline and stage I carcinomas (P < .001). p75 membrane expression was comparable in the 3 groups (P > .05). p-ERK and p-p38 expression was comparable in borderline and stage I carcinomas, whereas p-JNK was more frequently expressed in stage I ovarian carcinomas (P < .001). NGF receptor expression showed no association with MAPK activation in borderline and stage I carcinomas. In conclusion, expression of biologically active p-TrkA receptor at the cell membrane is up-regulated along tumor progression in ovarian carcinoma, whereas p75 expression remains unaltered. These data provide further evidence regarding the clinical role of p-TrkA in ovarian carcinoma. NGF receptors probably signal via MAPK-independent pathways in ovarian carcinoma.