Susceptibility to scrapie is mainly controlled by point mutations at the PRNP locus. However, additional quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified across the genome including a region in OAR18. The gene which encodes the inducible form of the cytoplasmic Hsp90 chaperone (HSP90AA1) maps within this region and seems to be associated with the resistance/susceptibility to scrapie in sheep. Here, we have analyzed several polymorphisms which were previously described in the ovine HSP90AA1 5' flanking region and in intron 10 in two naturally scrapie infected Romanov sheep populations. First, we have studied 58 ARQ/VRQ animals pertaining to the sire family where the QTL influencing scrapie incubation period in OAR18 was detected. We have found a significant association between polymorphisms localized at -660 and -528 in the HSP90AA1 5' flanking region and the scrapie incubation period. These two polymorphisms have also been studied in a second sample constituted by 62 VRQ/VRQ sheep showing an extreme incubation period. Results are concordant with the first dataset. Finally, we have studied the HSP90AA1 expression in scrapie and control animals (N = 41) with different HSP90AA1 genotypes by real time PCR on blood samples. The HSP90AA1 expression rate was equivalent in CC(-600)AA(-528) and CG(-600)AG(-528) scrapie resistant animals (ARR/ARR) and was higher in their CC(-600)AA(-528) than in their CG(-600)AG(-528) scrapie susceptible counterparts (VRQ/VRQ). Our results support the hypothesis that the ovine HSP90AA1 gene acts as a modulator of scrapie susceptibility, contributing to the observed differences in the incubation period of scrapie infected animals with the same PRNP genotype.