The levels of expression of the S100A1, S100A2, S100A3, S100A4, S100A5, S100A6 and S100B proteins were immunohistochemically assayed and quantitatively determined in a series of 95 astrocytic tumors including 26 World Health Organization (WHO) grade I (pilocytic astrocytomas), 23 WHO grade II (astrocytomas), 25 WHO grade III (anaplastic astrocytomas) and 21 WHO grade IV (glioblastomas) cases. The level of the immunohistochemical expression of the S100 proteins was quantitatively determined in the solid tumor tissue (tumor mass). In addition twenty blood vessel walls and their corresponding perivascular tumor astrocytes were also immunohistochemically assayed for 10 cases chosen at random from each of the four histopathological groups. The data showed modifications in the level of S100A3 protein expression; these modifications clearly identified the pilocytic astrocytomas from WHO grade II-IV astrocytic tumors as a distinct biological group. Modifications in the level of S100A6 protein expression enabled a clear distinction to be made between low (WHO grade I and II) and high (WHO grade III and IV) grade astrocytic tumors. Very significant modifications occurred in the level of S100A1 protein expression (and, to a lesser extent, in their of the S100A4 and S100B proteins) in relation to the increasing levels of malignancy. While the S100A5 protein was significantly expressed in all the astrocytic tumors (but without any significant modifications in the levels of malignancy), the S100A2 protein was never expressed in these tumors. These data thus indicate that several S100 proteins play major biological roles in human astrocytic tumors.