Searching for a peripheral biological marker for schizophrenia, we previously reported on elevated mitochondrial complex I 75-kDa subunit mRNA-blood concentrations in early onset schizophrenia (EOS). The aim of this study was to further evaluate the utility of this gene as a potential marker for schizophrenia. Both-schizophrenia and autism-are suggested to be neuronal maldevelopmental disorders with reports of mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress. Therefore we have investigated the expression levels of mitochondrial complex I 75-kDa subunit mRNA in whole blood of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and a group of adolescent acute first-episode EOS patients in comparison to matched controls. We have found that compared to the respective controls only the group of EOS patients-and not the ASD group-showed a significantly altered expression of the complex I 75-kDa subunit mRNA. Although further studies are necessary to test for the specificity of this marker, our findings point to the potential use of the mitochondrial complex I as a biomarker for schizophrenia.