Vesicle-associated membrane proteins (VAMPs) are involved in synaptic vesicle recycling and exocytosis in neurons. Here we report the changes in mRNA expression for VAMPs (VAMP1, -2 and -3) in the facial motor nucleus of adult rats following axotomy by in situ hybridization. Signals for VAMP2 and -3 mRNAs in the facial nucleus were increased from 3 to 28 days after axotomy. On the contrary, VAMP1 mRNA, which was abundantly expressed in the control facial nucleus, was transiently decreased from 3 to 21 days after axotomy. Differential regulation of VAMPs may reflect distinct roles in nerve regeneration.