The effects of intranigral injection of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) (dose range: 10.0-300.0 nmol), dynorphin A (0.005-0.5 nmol) and substance P (0.00007-7.0 nmol) on striatal dopamine (DA) release, and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) formation were studied by microdialysis. It was found that both GABA and dynorphin A produced a dose-dependent decrease in the release of striatal DA following injection into the ipsilateral substantia nigra, the pars reticulata. In contrast, intranigral injection of substance P produced an increase in DA release. However, the dose-response curve for the substance P effect had a biphasic shape. The maximum effect was produced by 0.007 nmol, whereas higher doses (0.07-0.7 nmol) produced less pronounced effects. At the highest dose (7.0 nmol), substance P produced a strong decrease of DA release. Striatal levels of DOPAC and HVA were enhanced by GABA, dynorphin A and substance P. The present results support the concept that substance P, directly or indirectly, provides a positive feed-back regulation for the release of striatal DA, whereas GABA and dynorphin exert a negative feed-back regulation.