An analysis has been made of intrinsic mechanisms influencing growth patterns of 2 identified leech interneurons in tissue culture. These small cells (known as DL and VL) display unusual arborizations in the ganglion. The distinctive branching patterns resemble the letter “T” for VL and the letter “Y” for DL. DL and VL cells contain serotonin and can be identified in situ with Neutral red. 1. DL and VL cells were isolated and cultured on 2 homogeneous substrates, concanavalin A (Con A) and leech extracellular matrix extract (ECM). Individual DL and VL cells in culture retained their ability to fire in spontaneous, rhythmical bursts. The synaptic connections formed in culture were specific and differed from those made by other serotonergic neurons. 2. On both Con A and ECM the neurons sprouted to reproduce their characteristic patterns. Every DL or VL cell that grew processes on ECM developed the appropriate Y- or T-shaped pattern. On Con A, most but not all of the cells showed specific Y or T patterns. The probability of sprouting was higher on Con A than on ECM. 3. Disruption of microtubular assemblies in freshly isolated DL and VL cells by treatment with nocodazole did not affect the later outgrowth of specific patterns in culture. 4. These results provide evidence that adult DL and VL leech neurons retain intrinsic information for determining a variety of their properties in culture: In particular, they reproduce type-specific neuritic patterns in the absence of extrinsic guidance cues. Moreover, the intrinsic pattern determining mechanism is not lost after the destruction of microtubular arrays within the cytoskeleton.