In this study, we investigated whether polymorphisms of the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene were associated with psychotic symptomatology rather than with a unique diagnosis such as schizophrenia. A number of association studies between the DRD4 gene 48 bp-VNTR polymorphism at exon 3 and psychotic disorders have been reported, but the results have been controversial. Both 48 bp-VNTR and the 12 bp-VNTR (at exon 1) polymorphisms of this gene were analyzed in a group of 149 unrelated Mexican subjects with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, major depression and bipolar disorder, both with psychotic symptoms, brief psychotic disorder, delusional disorder and non-specific psychotic disorder, and in 169 individuals free of psychiatric illnesses. There were no differences in allele or genotype frequencies between groups for the 12 bp-VNTR polymorphisms. However, a significant excess of "rare" alleles (3-, 5-, 6- and 8-48 bp repeats alleles) was found in the group of psychotics. Moreover, haplotypes 3-A1, 5-A1, 6-A1 and 8-A1 were significantly more frequently associated with cases. This positive association supports a role of this molecule as a genetic risk factor in psychotic disorders.