Acrylamide (ACR) monomer produces neuropathy of the dying-back type and 4-methylcatechol (4-MC) is a potent stimulator of endogenous nerve growth factor synthesis. In the present study, we investigated the efficacy of 4-MC in promoting recovery from experimental ACR neuropathy in rats. Twenty-two Sprague-Dawley rats were made neuropathic by ACR injections. They showed hindlimb paralysis, increment of landing foot spread distance and a statistically significant reduction in motor nerve conduction velocity. After the ACR neuropathy had been established, 12 of the rats were administered 4-MC for 2 weeks, and the other 10 were injected with phosphate-buffered saline alone. 4-MC-administered ACR neuropathy rats showed improvement, i.e., a decrease in landing foot spread distance, increase in motor nerve conduction velocity and increase in nerve growth factor content in the sciatic nerves in comparison with the corresponding values for ACR neuropathy rats given phosphate-buffered saline alone. A decreased number of large myelinated fiber with a reciprocal increase in small myelinated fiber number also was seen in the ACR neuropathy rats; however, this change was ameliorated in part by the administration of 4-MC. Therefore, these findings suggest that 4-MC can accelerate the recovery process clinically, electrophysiologically, biochemically and neuropathologically.