An association between susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a common -168A>G polymorphism in the MHC2TA gene with differential major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II molecule expression was recently reported in a Swedish population. The objective of the present study was to replicate this finding by examining the -168A>G polymorphism in an Austrian case-control study. Three hundred and sixty-two unrelated RA cases and 351 sex-matched and age-matched controls as well as 1,709 Austrian healthy individuals were genotyped. All participants were from the same ethnic background. Genotyping was performed using 5' allelic discrimination assays. The association between susceptibility to RA and the -168A>G single nucleotide polymorphism was examined by chi-square test. Comparison was made assuming a dominant effect (AG + GG genotypes versus AA genotype). In contrast to the primary report, the frequency of MHC2TA -168G allele carriers was not significantly different between patients and controls in the Austrian cohort. The homozygous MHC2TA -168 GG genotype was more frequent in matched controls than in Austrian RA patients. There was no association between the presence of RA-specific autoantibodies and the MHC2TA -168 GG genotype. In this cohort of Austrian patients, no association between the MHC2TA polymorphism and RA was found.