We investigated the effect of polymorphic variants of c.1298A>C (Glu429Ala) and c.677C>T (Ala222Val) in methylenetetrahydrofolate (MTHFR) gene on the total homocysteine (tHcy), folate and B12 levels in patients with bipolar disorder, first-degree relatives of patients, and controls. The c.677C>T and c.1298A>C polymorphisms in MTHFR were determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism in 197 bipolar patients, 278 relatives and 238 controls. tHcy and folate and vitamin B12 levels were measured by Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassay and Electrochemiluminescence, respectively. The tHcy was significantly increased in patients and relatives. In contrast, folate and B12 were significantly lower in patients and relatives. Gender was not considered as a significant determinant in the multivariate analysis. Genotypes of c.1298A>C and c.677C>T were correlated with tHcy, folate and B12. Patients and relatives carrying TT and/or AA and AC genotypes had elevated tHcy and reduced folate and B12 levels. High tHcy but low folate and vitamin B12 levels may be a risk factor for development of bipolar disorder. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.