The immunohistochemical expression of tenascin was studied in 80 morphologically diagnosed condylomas and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesions. The results were compared with the human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA subtype, which was determined by HPV dot blot and in situ hybridisation. Tenascin mRNA synthesis was also determined in 10 selected cases by in situ hybridisation. No statistically significant association was found between tenascin expression and the degree of dysplasia or the HPV subtype. There was, however, a strong correlation between the extent of tenascin immunoreactivity and the degree of inflammation. Synthesis of tenascin mRNA was detected in basal keratinocytes and in fibroblasts by in situ hybridisation. The lack of association between the grade of CIN and tenascin expression precludes its use as a marker of premalignancy in CIN.