Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) play an important role in tissue remodeling and neoangiogenesis during tumor progression. Little is known about the presence and regional distribution of MMPs in medulloblastomas. Based on immunohistochemical, immunocytochemical and zymographical analysis is the present study illustrates the differential pattern of MMP expression for the medulloblastoma compared to that of glioma and ependymoma. In 10 examined medulloblastoma tumors gelatinase-A was strongly expressed by clusters of tumor cells. Gelatinase-B was, similar to glioma and ependymoma, predominantly found around endothelial cells. The DAB signal for macrophage metalloelastase was seen around macrophages and matrilysin was expressed by single tumor cells. Stromelysin-1 protein was detected in medulloblastoma but not in glioma or ependymoma. From the presented data it follows that each tumor entity might display its own characteristic MMP expression pattern.