In the present study, we determined whether genetic variability in the gene encoding tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) contributes to individual differences in susceptibility to the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The study involved 87 Caucasian Finnish women with PCOS and 115 healthy control women who were genotyped for the C-850T polymorphism in the TNF-alpha gene promoter. Analysis by chi(2) was used to assess genotype and allele frequency differences between PCOS women and controls. A similar genotype distribution for the C-850T polymorphism was observed in the two groups, with the frequency of the variant T allele being 8.6% in the PCOS group and 9.6% in the control group (p = 0.862). Accordingly, the profile of genotype frequencies was similar in the groups. The observed profiles of allele and genotype frequencies confirm an equilibrium state between C-850T polymorphism and PCOS and suggest that polymorphism of the TNF-alpha gene is unlikely to contribute to the risk of PCOS.