Enzyme histochemistry and immunohistochemistry were used to determine the types of nerves supplying the ampullary gland, coagulating gland, dorsolateral prostate, ventral prostate and seminal vesicle of the male golden hamster. Quantitative change of dopamine beta-hydroxylase (D beta H), and neuropeptide Y (NPY) immunoreactive and acetylcholinesterase-stained (AChE-stained) nerves with age was also determined. Using an antibody against protein gene product 9.5, nerves were seen to distribute in subepithelial connective tissues, smooth muscles and adventitial connective tissues. Presumptive catecholaminergic nerves immunoreactive for D beta H and tyrosine hydroxylase were found mainly in periacinar smooth muscles, while AChE-stained nerves predominantly ramified subepithelial connective tissues. In addition, nerves immunoreactive to NPY, calcitonin gene-related peptide, leu-enkephalin, galanin, substance P, and vasoactive intestinal peptide were also detected. Quantitative estimation at 10, 52 and 78 weeks of age showed that densities of D beta H and NPY nerves were halved by 52 weeks of age. This level was maintained in older animals. The density of AChE-stained nerves in all glands did not change with age. The ampullary gland appeared to have more AChE-stained nerves. These results were discussed from a comparative viewpoint and with regard to possible implications of aging of peripheral nerves on functioning of the male accessory sex glands.