Oligodendroglial neoplasms are a subgroup of gliomas with distinctive morphological characteristics. In the present study we have evaluated a series of these tumors to define their molecular profiles and to determine whether there is a relationship between molecular genetic parameters and histological pattern in this tumor type. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) for 1p and 19q was seen in 17/23 (74%) well-differentiated oligodendrogliomas, in 18/23 (83%) anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, and in 3/8 (38%) oligoastrocytomas grades II and III. LOH for 17p and/or mutations of the TP53 gene occurred in 14 of these 55 tumors. Only one of the 14 cases with 17p LOH/TP53 gene mutation also had LOH for 1p and 19q, and significant astrocytic elements were seen histologically in the majority of these 14 tumors. LOH for 9p and/or deletion of the CDKN2A gene occurred in 15 of these 55 tumors, and 11 of these cases were among the 24 (42%) anaplastic oligodendrogliomas. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) identified the majority of cases with 1p and 19q loss and, in addition, showed frequent loss of chromosomes 4, 14, 15, and 18. These findings demonstrate that oligodendroglial neoplasms usually have loss of 1p and 19q whereas astrocytomas of the progressive type frequently contain mutations of the TP53 gene, and that 9p loss and CDKN2A deletions are associated with progression from well-differentiated to anaplastic oligodendrogliomas.