A number of studies support a possible link between mitochondrial dysfunction and schizophrenia. To test the hypothesis of a direct contribution of mitochondrial DNA (mt-DNA) in susceptibility to DSM-IV-TR-schizophrenia, we looked for differences in the frequency distribution of the major European haplogroups (hgs) in 142 patients and 190 controls both of Italian origin. A subgroup of patients (N = 37) and healthy counterparts (N = 41) was also analyzed for possible differences in the relative amount of mt-DNA versus nuclear-DNA in blood cells. Patients and controls were comparable for hg frequency distribution and the relative levels of mt-DNA even after stratification by gender and schizophrenia subtype. However, patients harboring the hg J-T showed an anticipated onset of the disorder. These results indicate that the J-T hg of mt-DNA may have a modulator effect on deeper determinants of schizophrenia. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.