- Purpose Low-grade neuroepithelial tumors are frequent neuropathological findings in patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsies. Little is known regarding epileptogenic mechanisms in this group of neoplasms with gangliogliomas (GG) as the most common entity. Presence of hemosiderin deposits in GG points to impairment of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, we hypothesized a potential role of BBB dysfunction and astrocytic albumin uptake as potential epileptogenic factor in GG. Methods Prussian blue staining and fluorescent double-immunohistochemistry with antibodies against albumin, GFAP, CD34 and GLUT-1 were used to analyze hemosiderin deposits and astroglial albumin accumulation in tumor and adjacent pre-existing brain tissue of GG (n = 10) and several control groups, i.e. dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNT; n = 5), focal cortical dysplasia with balloon cells (FCD IIb; n = 10), astrocytomas WHO grade II (n = 5) and clear renal cell carcinoma brain metastases (RCCM, n = 6). Results Our results revealed strong hemosiderin deposits in GG. Intriguingly, we noted substantial albumin uptake exclusively in neoplastic glial cell components of GG and DNT, whereas no significant albumin was present in perilesional reactive astrocytes. Strikingly, we did not observe substantial albumin uptake in further controls. Conclusion Glial albumin uptake was restricted to long-term epilepsy associated, vasculature-containing tumors. Intratumoural BBB dysfunction in concert with subsequent accumulation of albumin by neoplastic glial cell elements represent a new putatively epileptogenic mechanism for long-term epilepsy-associated tumors.