The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the relationship between serum PON1 activity and PON 192 polymorphism in brain tumours. The distribution of PON 192 polymorphism in 42 high grade gliomas and 42 meningiomas were determined by polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and compared with 50 healthy control subjects. Serum paraoxonase1 activities were also measured and compared in the same population. We found that in both tumour groups serum PON1 activity was significantly lower than the control group (p < 0.001), but did not differ between meningiomas and high grade gliomas. There was no significant difference either in distribution of the AA, AB and BB genotypes or in the allelic frequencies, between the patient group and control subjects (p > 0.05). Our results suggest that serum PON1 as a part of the lipid peroxidation scavenging systems might be involved in the tumourigenesis of brain tumours. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.