The inbred BD rat strains constitute a model system for analysis of the genetic basis of susceptibility or resistance to the development of neural tumors, as they exhibit distinct strain-specific differences regarding the sensitivity to tumor induction by the alkylating carcinogen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (EtNU). Among the different BD strains, BDIX and BDIV rats, respectively, are either highly susceptible or entirely resistant to the development of EtNU-induced malignant schwannomas of the peripheral nervous system (PNS), predominantly of the trigeminal nerves. We have previously mapped one locus associated with susceptibility/resistance to schwannoma induction to the telomeric third of chromosome 10 (Mss1) in segregating (BDIX x BDIV) crosses. We report on the genetic mapping of 6 further loci controlling tumor incidence or survival time on chromosomes 1 (Mss2), 3 (Mss3), 6 (Mss4), 13 (Mss5) and 15 (Mss6) as well as on chromosome 10 (Mss7) close to the centromere. Interestingly, most of these loci mediate gender-specific effects of variable strength ranging from minor influences on tumor development to complete tumor resistance. The gender specificity is reflected by the fact that male (BDIX x BDIV) F2 rats exhibit a 2-fold higher incidence of EtNU-induced schwannomas than females as well as a shorter survival time. A number of human nervous system tumors too arise with a marked gender bias. Genes mediating gender-specific predisposition of developing malignant schwannomas in the rat may be relevant for the human individual risk of developing nervous system tumors.