The present study was undertaken to investigate the hypothesis that the mu-opioid receptors play a crucial role in locomotor activity and sensitization to cocaine and morphine in wild-type and mu-opioid receptor knockout mice. Our results show that morphine and cocaine increased locomotor activity in wild-type mice, but failed to increase locomotor activity in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice, suggesting a contribution of mu-opioid receptor. Repeated morphine treatment induced sensitization in wild-type mice, but this was not observed in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice. In contrast repeated cocaine treatment produced sensitization in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice, but not in wild-type mice on day 6. However, the sensitization to cocaine was observed in mu-opioid receptor knockout and wild-type mice on day 12. These results suggest that the expression of mu-opioid receptor may contribute to locomotor sensitization induced by morphine, but that mu-opioid receptor does not play an important role in mediating sensitization to cocaine.