The human genome contains a large number of interspersed simple repeat sequences that vary in length among individuals and can therefore serve as highly informative polymorphic markers. Several such variable sites (microsatellites) have been described within the TNF genes within the MHC. In this study, individuals from four Caucasian populations have been typed for three TNF-associated microsatellites in order to define their haplotypes. Of the 208 possible haplotypes, eight exist at a high frequency in all populations and account for approximately 60% of the haplotypes studied, but with marked variations in their frequencies among populations. A few population/sample-specific haplotypes have been identified. The ability of alleles to define haplotypes uniquely varies not only among the loci, but also among the alleles: some alleles displaying complete gametic association (linkage disequilibrium) and others displaying very little.