Fifty couples and their children with Down syndrome (D.S.) were typed for HLA-A and HLA-B antigens and compared to 50 control families and 464 blood donors. The parental origin of the extra chromosome 21 was determined by cytogenetic methods. All individuals were caucasians and there was no history of consanguinity. No excessive HLA sharing was present in D.S. parents. The mothers of D.S. shared no more HLA antigens with their D.S. children than the control mothers with their normal children (14% vs. 18%). Thirteen of the fifty pairs (26%) (parent in whom the nondisjunction occurred and D.S. child) shared three HLA antigens at the A and/or B locus. This was not significantly higher than the proportion in the control group (12/50 or 24%). These data suggest that it is not the sharing of HLA-A and HLA-B antigens between the parents or between the parent who was the origin of the nondisjunction and the D.S. child that is related either to the occurrence of trisomy 21 zygotes or to prenatal survival of affected embryos and fetuses.