Familial eosinophilia (FE) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by peripheral hypereosinophilia of unidentifiable cause with or without other organ involvement. To localize the gene for FE, we performed a genomewide search in a large U.S. kindred, using 312 different polymorphic markers. Seventeen affected subjects, 28 unaffected bloodline relatives, and 8 spouses were genotyped. The initial linkage results from the genome scan provided evidence for linkage on chromosome 5q31-q33. Additional genotyping of genetic markers located in this specific region demonstrated significant evidence that the FE locus is situated between the chromosome 5q markers D5S642 and D5S816 (multipoint LOD score of 6.49). Notably, this region contains the cytokine gene cluster, which includes three genes - namely, those for interleukin (IL)-3, IL-5, and granulocyte/macrophage colony- stimulating factor (GM-CSF) - whose products play important roles in the development and proliferation of eosinophils. These three cytokine genes were screened for potential disease-specific mutations by resequencing of a subgroup of individuals from the present kindred. No functional sequence polymorphisms were found within the promoter, the exons, or the introns of any of these genes or within the IL-3/GM-CSF enhancer, suggesting that the primary defect in FE is not caused by a mutation in any one of these genes but, rather, is caused by another gene in the area.