Diffusely infiltrating astrocytic tumours of the central nervous system (CNS) are the most frequent intracranial neoplasms and account for more than 60% of all primary brain tumours in man. Until recently, it was generally accepted that the glial component of the mature CNS, consisted of differentiated astrocytes, ependymal cells, oligodendrocytes and the non-neuro-ectodermal microglial cells. There exists a recently recognised population of glial cells that express the NG2 proteoglycan (NG2 cells). NG2 cells are dynamic and undergo rapid morphological changes in response to a variety of CNS pathologies. They are highly motile cells, which interact with various extracellular matrix (ECM) in association with the integrin receptors. During angiogenesis and response to tissue injury, NG2 precursor cells are recruited to sites where vessel growth and repair are occurring. NG2 is over-expressed by both tumour cells and pericytes on the blood vessels of malignant brain tumours. The function of NG2 cells in the CNS, and the notion of them as a source of and/or lineage marker for some gliomas are discussed. In addition, their possible role in glioma angiogenesis, proliferation and invasion will be considered as will their value in provision of targets for clinical and pre-clinical therapeutic strategies in brain tumours.