Object. Brainstem gliomas are common in children and have the worst prognosis of any brain tumor in this age group. On the other hand, brainstem gliomas are rare in adults, and the authors of some clinical studies have suggested that this lesion behaves differently in adults than in children. In the present study, the authors test an orthotopic C6 brainstem glioma model in juvenile and adult rats, and investigate the biological behavior of this lesion in the 2 age groups. Methods. The C6 glioma cells were stereotactically implanted into the pons of juvenile or adult male rats. Neurological presentation and survival time were recorded. Tumor proliferation and the number of apoptotic cells in brainstem gliomas of young and adult rats were determined by immunohistochemical staining with Ki 67 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase 2′-deoxyuridine 5′-triphosphate-mediated nick-end labeling assay. Results. Striking differences in the onset of neurological signs, duration of symptoms, survival time, tumor growth pattern, tumor proliferation, and number of apoptotic cells were found between the gliomas in the 2 groups of rats. The lesions were relatively focal in adult rats but more diffuse in young rats. Furthermore, brainstem gliomas in adult rats were less proliferative and had more apoptotic cells than those in young rats. Conclusions. The authors found that the C6 brainstem glioma model in young and adult rats closely imitates the course of brainstem glioma in humans both in neurological findings and histopathological characteristics. Their findings also suggest that the different growth pattern and invasiveness of these lesions in children compared with that in adults could be due to different cellular environments in the 2 age groups, and warrants further investigation into the difference in the host response to brainstem gliomas in children and adults.