To investigate a possible genetic basis for reported differences in β-2 receptor expression in atopic subjects, DNA from 42 atopic children (22 asthmatics and 22 with allergic rhinitis) and 30 non-atopic subjects was Southern blotted and Ban-1 restriction fragment polymorphisms (RFLPS) were studied using a 2.6 kb probe of the human β-2 receptor gene. Two alleles 3.1 kb and 2.9 kb were identified. Homozygotes and heterozygotes for the two alleles were found with equal frequency in the atopic patients who had asthma and in those who had allergic rhinitis only. The gene frequencies for the upper and lower alleles were 0.45 and 0.55 respectively. Our studies do not provide evidence for an association between a particular polymorphic form of the human β-2 receptor gene and atopy.