Twelve rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) challenged intranasally with a wild-type Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) developed clinical signs 11-14 days later. Tissues from the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, brainstem, thalamus, meninges, and all levels of the spinal cord were stained for JEV antigen with hyperimmune mouse ascitic fluid and streptavidin-alkaline phosphatase; immunofluorescent staining was also done on frozen sections. Viral antigen was found in all cell layers of the cerebellum, the gray matter of the thalamus and brainstem, and the ventral horn of all levels of the spinal cord. Staining was limited to neurons and their processes. Histopathologic changes were limited to the nervous system and characterized by nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis. These results were comparable with those of previous studies done with human autopsy tissues. Intranasal inoculation of rhesus monkeys with JEV was effective in producing clinical disease comparable with natural disease in humans and may serve as a model to evaluate protective efficacy of candidate JEV vaccines.