Previous linkage studies in X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (RS) placed the gene between the loci DXS43 and DXS41 in the region Xp22.2-p22.1. Here we have extended our earlier studies by analyzing 31 RS families with the markers DXS16 (pSE3.2-L), DXS274, DXS92, and ZFX. Pairwise linkage analysis revealed significant linkage of the RS gene to all markers used; locus DXS274 (probe CRI-L1391) was tightly-linked to the disorder, with a lod score of 9.02 at a recombination fraction of 0.05. The genetic map around the RS locus was refined by multilocus linkage studies in an expanded database including a large set of normal families (40 CEPH families). The results indicated that the RS gene locus lies between (DXS207, DXS43) and DXS274 with odds of 1.8 x 10(4):1 favoring this most likely location over the second most likely location, i.e., distal to DXS43. Analysis by LINKMAP gave a maximum location score of 136.4 with the order Xpter-DXS16-(DXS207,DXS43)-RS-DXS274-(D XS41,DXS92)-Xcen. To assess the diagnostic value of the markers in Finnish patients, a total of 12 markers were tested for allele frequencies in 126 Finnish unrelated blood donors. With the exception of the markers DXS207, DXS43, and DXS92, allele frequencies did not show any significant deviation from the data published elsewhere. Haplotype analysis was performed with five DNA markers flanking the RS locus. Patients from southwest Finland had a haplotype association that differed from the haplotype association found in the patients from north central Finland, favoring the hypothesis that the mutations in the two groups arose independently.