Schizophrenia is a severe psychotic illness with a heterogeneous presentation and a devastating impact on social and occupational function. Worldwide variations in schizophrenia incidence rates suggest that local conditions may modify disease risk. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region has been confirmed to be associated with schizophrenia by genome-wide association studies in populations across the world. While the presence of autoimmune processes in a subgroup of schizophrenia cases is contentious, the immune system could allow environmental exposures to lead to schizophrenia by generating improper immune response. To investigate this topic, we reviewed the current evidence of the relationship between schizophrenia and coeliac disease. Based on this review, we performed genetic analysis of the MYO9B gene and the IL-2/IL-21 locus by genotyping SNPs that have been previously associated with coeliac disease or schizophrenia in 223 families, 108 unrelated individuals with schizophrenia and 120 controls. Finding no evidence for association with these two loci in our study samples, we applied meta-analytic techniques to combine our findings with previous reports. This synthesis, in light of our review of previous reports, suggests a differing developmental trajectory for schizophrenia and coeliac disease. It is possible that these two conditions do not share any functional overlap. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.