We examined the neurite outgrowth of sensory neurons on astrocytes following the genetic deletion of N-cadherin (NCAD). Deletion abolished immunostaining for NCAD and the other classical cadherins, indicating that NCAD is likely the only classical cadherin expressed by astrocytes. Only 38% of neurons grown on NCAD-deficient astrocytes for 24 h produced neurites, as compared to 74% of neurons grown on NCAD-expressing astrocytes. Of the neurons that produced neurites, those grown on NCAD-deficient astrocytes had a mean total length of 378 μm, as compared to 1093 μm for neurons grown on NCAD-expressing astrocytes. Thus, the loss of NCAD greatly impairs the formation and extension neurites on astrocytes.