Two research groups have thus far reported a significant association between schizophrenia and a promoter polymorphism (-308G > A) of the gene encoding tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), while contradictive negative results have also been reported. We examined the possible association in a Japanese sample of 297 schizophrenia cases and 458 controls. Allele frequencies of both the patients and controls were very low (1.5% and 0.8%, respectively), and the difference was not statistically significant. We conclude that the effect of the -308G > A polymorphism on the development of schizophrenia is, if any, weak and the majority of Japanese schizophrenics are unrelated to the -308G > A polymorphism of the TNF-α gene.
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