The APOA1-C3-A4-A5 gene complex encodes genes whose products are implicated in the metabolism of HDL and/or triglycerides. Although the relationship between polymorphisms in this gene cluster and dyslipidemias was first reported more than 15 years ago, association and linkage results have remained inconclusive. This is due, in part, to the oligogenic and multivariate nature of dyslipidemic phenotypes. Therefore, we investigate evidence of linkage of APOC3 and HDL using two samples of dyslipidemic pedigrees: familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL) and isolated low-HDL (ILHDL). We used a strategy that deals with several difficulties inherent in the study of complex traits: by using a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach we allow for oligogenic trait models, as well as simultaneous incorporation of covariates, in the context of multipoint analysis. By using this approach on extended pedigrees we provide evidence of linkage of APOC3 and HDL level variation in two samples with different ascertainment. In addition to APOC3, we estimate that two to three genes, each with a substantial effect on total variance, are responsible for HDL variation in both data sets. We also provide evidence, using the FCHL data set, for a pleiotropic effect between HDL, HDL3 and triglycerides at the APOC3 locus.