The significance of the protein metabolism in crayfish peripheral nerve was studied in relation to the ability of crayfish motor axons to survive for over 200 days following axotomy. In contrast to frog peripheral nerves, the crayfish nerves appear to more closely resemble ganglia in their profiles of synthesis expressed on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) gels, and have higher incorporation rates of [3H]eucine into protein than ganglia. Since anisomycin inhibits over 95% of protein synthesis in crayfish peripheral nerve, it was concluded that this local protein synthesis was dependent upon a eukaryotic ribosomal mechanism. Radioautography of isolated nerves reveals newly synthesized proteins in glial sheaths, and also within the axoplasm of large motor fibers. Based upon the data available at present, a hypothesis that the glia surrounding the axons are responsible for the local protein synthesis, and that some of these newly synthesized proteins are transported into the axon, is presented. Transection of crayfish peripheral nerves proximal to the neuron cell bodies produced a more than two-fold increase in [3H]eucine incorporation, but no significance changes in labeling profiles of the proteins on SDS gels. The data suggest that while an active local protein synthesis may be necessary for the maintenance of several crayfish motor axons, it is not a sufficient condition.