Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter that mediates a wide range of sensory, motor, and cortical functions by activating multiple 5-HT receptor subtypes. In the present study we performed a systematic mutation scan of the complete coding region of the 5-HT5A receptor to explore its variability in the general population. Investigating 46 unrelated healthy subjects by single-strand conformation analysis no sequence changes of likely functional relevance were observed. The detection of a frequent G-->C substitution at position -19 was used for fine scale linkage mapping of the 5-HT5A gene. Employing a polymerase-chain-reaction based assay we genotyped 7 CEPH families (Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humaine) and mapped the receptor to genetic markers on chromosome 7q34-q36.