Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grades I to III lesions (n = 94) and squamous cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix (n = 27) were analysed for MHC class I and II expression and presence of HPV genotypes. MHC class I and II expression was studied by immunohistochemistry and HPV typing was performed by general primer- and type-specific primer mediated PCR (GP/TS PCR). Both techniques were performed on paraffin embedded tissue sections. Results show disturbed MHC class I heavy chain expression in CIN I to CIN III, as well as in cervical carcinomas. Upregulated MHC class II expression on dysplastic epithelial cells was also found in the different CIN groups and carcinomas. Prevalence of HPV genotypes increased with the severity of the lesion, mainly due to the contribution of the HPV types 16 and 18. No correlation could be established between the presence of specific HPV genotypes and any MHC expression pattern in the different CIN groups or cervical carcinomas. In some cases these data were confirmed by RNA in situ hybridisation showing HPV 16 E7 transcripts in the same dysplastic/neoplastic cells from which MHC status was determined. The results indicate that local differences may exist in the type of cellular immune response to HPV induced lesions.