The Wilms' tumor 1 gene (WT1) was originally isolated and described as the gene responsible for Wilms' tumor. Although there is growing evidence linking the overexpression of WT1 to tumorigenesis, no reports on ameloblastoma are available at present. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of WT1 in various histological subtypes of ameloblastoma tissue specimens and in human ameloblastoma cell lines. Immunohistochemical analyses were performed on a total of 168 cases of ameloblastoma, one case of ameloblastic carcinoma, and five cases of tooth germs (control). Three immortalized human dental epithelial cell lines (HAM1, HAM2, and HAM3) derived from the same ameloblastoma patient were used for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot assays. The tooth germs did not express WT1 (0%), and more than half of the ameloblastoma cases showed WT1 overexpression (54.7%). Immunoreactivity of solid-type ameloblastoma (76.1%) was more evident than that of unicystic-type ameloblastoma (40.9%). The expression level of WT1 mRNA in HAM2 was higher than that in HAM1 (moderate) and HAM3 (weak), showing the heterogeneity of tumor cells. The WT1 protein was strongly detected in HAM2 and minimally detected in HAM1 and HAM3. Our results suggest that WT1 expression influences the pathogenesis of ameloblastoma by varying its expression level in different histological types. (J Oral Sci 58, 407-413, 2016).