The plasmin system is involved in the degradation of Abeta peptides, the accumulation of which in brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In a North European case-control AD dataset we studied 14 common variations in the PLG, PAI-1, PLAT and PLI genes encoding components of the plasmin system. Among the four polymorphisms in the PLAT, PAI-1 and PLI genes showing nominally significant evidence for an association with AD (allele p-value=0.01-0.00003) the strongest association was detected for the deletion allele in the Alu-repeat region of the PLAT gene. However, none of these positive results were confirmed in follow-up studies using an independent Canadian case-control cohort and two familial AD datasets of North European and Caribbean Hispanic origin. Thus, the current survey does not support the notion that common polymorphisms in the plasmin genes influence the development of AD.