Since abnormalities of brain development play a role in the aetiology of schizophrenia, growth factors, known to play a role in neurodevelopment, such as neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), are therefore candidate genes for this disorder. The A3/147 bp allele of a dinucleotide repeat polymorphism in the promoter region of the NT-3 gene has been reported as occurring more frequently in a sample of Japanese schizophrenics compared to controls. We have determined the frequency of alleles of this polymorphism in 175 Caucasian schizophrenic patients and 147 control subjects. The patient and control samples showed no significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and, in a test of allalleles, the patients and controls did not differ significantly in allele frequencies. However, the male schizophrenics were more likely than male controls to have the A3/147 bp allele (P = 0.029).