Pediatric brain tumors may originate from cells endowed with neural stem/precursor cell properties, growing in vitro as neurospheres. We have found that these cells can also be present in adult brain tumors and form highly infiltrating gliomas in the brain of immunodeficient mice. Neurospheres were grown from three adult brain tumors and two pediatric gliomas. Differentiation of the neurospheres from one adult glioblastoma decreased nestin expression and increased that of glial and neuronal markers. Loss of heterozygosity of 10q and 9p was present in the original glioblastoma, in the neurospheres and in tumors grown into mice, suggesting that PTEN and CDKN2A alterations are key genetic events in tumor initiating cells with neural precursor properties.