Gangliogliomas are tumors composed of intimately admixed neuronal and glial components and account for approximately 1% of all brain tumors. Here we report the histopathological findings in 61 gangliogliomas. Epilepsy was the most common presenting symptom. Most gangliogliomas were located in the temporal lobes (74%). Thirteen percent of the gangliogliomas were associated with glioneuronal hamartias. There was considerable variation in neuronal size and density, presence of binucleated neurons, calcifications, desmoplasia, lymphocytic infiltrate, pilocytic differentiation, Rosenthal fibers, location, or histological uniformity. Fifteen percent of the gangliogliomas contained areas of purely astrocytic differentiation. All tumors were examined immunohistochemically for an aberrant p53 tumor suppressor gene product and for the presence of nuclear antigens associated with cell proliferation (Ki-67, Ki-S1, proliferating cell nuclear antigen). In 45 of 61 cases (74%) labeling indices for Ki-67 were less than 1%. Nuclear labeling for Ki-67 was observed exclusively in the astrocytic component. Gangliogliomas with very large neurons had higher Ki-67 labeling indices and occurred in younger patients than gangliogliomas with small- or intermediate-sized neurons. None of the tumors had an aberrant expression of p53. The observations suggest that gangliogliomas may arise from glioneuronal hamartias through neoplastic transformation of the astrocytic component.