The hypothesis that chromosomal region Xq27-28 harbours a gene for manic-depression has been a focus of interest in human genetics. X-linked inheritance of manic depressive illness has been re-examined in 3 multigeneration Israeli kindreds. Extension and re-evaluation of pedigree data, including new individuals, diagnostic follow-up, and analysis with DNA markers, shows greatly diminished support for linkage to Xq28. The peak lod scores in two of the pedigrees have dropped several lod units to clearly negative values at the RCP-F8-G6PD gene cluster. On the other hand, positive lod scores (Zmax = 2.09) are sustained in another pedigree at the same map location. None of the pedigrees show linkage to more proximal markers, including the Xq27 locus DXS98. Our analysis underscores the uncertainties in studying complex disorders.