The Lps locus on mouse chromosome 4 controls host responsiveness to lipopolysaccharide, a major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. The C3H/HeJ inbred mouse strain is characterized by a mutant Lps allel (Lpsd) that renders it hyporesponsive to LPS and naturally tolerant of its lethal effects. To identify the Lps gene by a positional cloning strategy, we have generated a high-resolution linkage map of the chromosomal region surrounding this locus. We have analyzed a total of 1604 backcross mice from a preexisting interspecific backcross panel of 259 (Mus spretus x C57BL/6J)F1 x C57BL/6J and two novel panels of 597 (DBA/2J x C3H/HeJ)F1 x C3H/HeJ and 748 (C57BL/6J x C3H/HeJ)F1 x C3H/HeJ segregating at Lps. A total of 50 DNA markers have been mapped in a 11.8-cM span overlapping the Lps locus. This positions the Lps locus within a 1.1-cM interval, flanked proximally by a large cluster of markers, including three know genes (Cd301, Hxb, and Ambp), and distally by two microsatellite markers (D4Mit7/D4Mit178). The localization of the Lps locus is several centimorgans proximal to that previously assigned.