The antipsychotic effects of dopamine D2 receptor antagonists (neuroleptics) and the psychotomimetic effects of dopamine agonists suggest that a defect of the D2 receptor gene might be a factor in the etiology of schizophrenia. Fifteen families that contained several members suffering from schizophrenia were tested for linkage between the D2 receptor gene and schizophrenia. In addition, four flanking markers were tested. The mode of inheritance was assumed to be dominant. Five different models of the affection status, which ranged from a narrow to a broad definition of the affection status, were studied. Linkage analysis was carried out with dominant, recessive, and intermediate modes of transmission. Two-point and multipoint analyses between schizophrenia and the D2 receptor gene resulted in log-likelihood differences <-2 for all five models, and linkage between this candidate gene and schizophrenia was excluded. A mutation in the D2 receptor gene itself is therefore extremely unlikely to be related to a higher susceptibility to schizophrenia, at least in the present group of families. �� 1994.