The expression of the c-erbB-1, c-myc, Ha/N-ras and c-fos oncogenes was investigated in 62 astrocytomas of low, intermediate and high grades by immunogold silver histochemistry. Elevated expression of c-erbB-1 was observed in 95%, 48% and 86% of low, intermediate and high grade tumours respectively, c-myc in 5%, 33% and 76% respectively, Ha/N-ras in 0, 43% and 71% respectively and c-fos in 55%, 48% and 52% respectively. Controls included normal brain and tumour sections immunoreacted with pre-immune serum or with antisera absorbed with synthetic peptides. Analysis of co-overexpression revealed that low grade tumours co-overexpressed a maximum of two of these genes, intermediate grade tumours a maximum of three of these genes, while co-overexpression of all four genes was observed in some high grade tumours. Co-overexpression of c-erbB-1 and c-fos was frequently observed in low grade astrocytomas and may be predictive of non-progression. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of tumours overexpressing Ha/N-ras or c-myc with increasing grade of tumour, suggesting that overexpression of these two oncogenes may be indicative of progression.