The histogenesis of adenomatoid tumour has continued to provoke debate since Golden and Ash suggested the term in 1945 for a characteristic benign neoplasm typically found in the uterus, fallopian tube or epididymis. Endothelial, epithelial, mesonephric, müllerian and mesothelial histogenesis have been suggested. The balance of evidence suggests mesothelial derivation, but two recent studies point to endothelial origin for at least some of these tumours. Twenty-two histologically typical adenomatoid tumours were studied by electron microscopy, mucin histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Ultrastructurally, all cases showed vacuolated cells bearing long bushy microvilli and the features were not those of endothelial cells. Glandular spaces contained acid mucopolysaccharide consistent with hyaluronic acid. Immunohistochemical double labelling techniques showed the cells lining such spaces to contain cytokeratin in the absence of factor VIII related antigen and receptors for Ulex europaeus I lectin which were expressed in the endothelium of tumour blood vessels. The evidence points to mesothelial histogenesis in all cases examined.