Phenotype frequencies for variants of the chromosome 14 markers, alpha 1 antitrypsin (protease inhibitor--Pi), and immunoglobulin heavy chain gene allotypes (Gm and Am) were examined in affected and unaffected members of multicase rheumatoid arthritis (RA) families and compared with published population data. Significantly higher frequencies of phenotypes containing Pi*Z and Pi*S were observed in unrelated index RA cases compared with UK population data. There was also a higher frequency of Pi*Z in family members without RA than in population controls but no such difference for the frequency of Pi*S. No difference in the frequency of PiM1M2 heterozygotes was seen between patients with RA and population controls. An examination of clinical data failed to show any relation between any particular feature of RA and positivity for Pi*Z or Pi*S. No significant differences in frequency of Gm phenotypes were observed between patients with RA and controls. Significant association was found, however, between Pi*Z and Gm phenotypes containing Gm(zax;g). These associations are interpreted as indicating linkage disequilibria between these alleles. No interactions between DR4 and either G1m(z), (a), or (x) allotypes were apparent in patients with RA. A significant association was seen in the index RA cases between DR4 and Pi phenotypes carrying Z or S alleles. Observations from this study provide evidence for the existence of a genetic component for RA susceptibility encoded on chromosome 14. An interactive effect of these genes with DR4 towards susceptibility appears likely.