The production of ecdysteroid molting hormones by crustacean Y-organs is negatively regulated by a neuropeptide, molt-inhibiting hormone. It is generally agreed that molt-inhibiting hormone is produced and released by the eyestalk neuroendocrine system. In the present study, immunocytochemical methods were used to detect molt-inhibiting hormone immunoreactive neurons in eyestalk ganglia of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. The primary antiserum used was generated against molt-inhibiting hormone of the green shore crab, Carcinus maenas. A preliminary Westem blot analysis indicated the antiserum binds molt-inhibiting hormone of Callinectes sapidus. Using confocal and conventional immunofluorescence microscopy, molt-inhibiting hormone immunoreactivity was visualized in whole mounts and thin sections of Callinectes sapidus eyestalk ganglia. Immunoreactivity was detected in 15-25 neurosecretory cell bodies in the medulla terminalis X-organ, their associated axons and collateral branches, and their axon terminals in the neurohemal sinus gland. The cellular organization of molt-inhibiting hormone immunoreactive neurons in blue crabs is generally similar to that reported for other crab species. The combined results suggest the cellular structure of the molt-inhibiting hormone neuroendocrine system is highly conserved among brachyurans. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.