Partial lesions were induced in rat midbrain dopamine ascending pathways by intrastriatal injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), and after two weeks changes were observed in the immunoreactivities of S100β, a calcium-binding protein, and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), which is neurotrophic. Semiquantitative microdensitometric image analysis revealed increased intensities of FGF-2 and S100β immunostaining in putative glial profiles of the ipsilateral neostriatum, pars compacta (SNc) and reticulata (SNr) of the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Double immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase procedures, using antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein and OX-42, showed that these increased immunoreactivities were restricted to reactive astrocytes; they were not observed in reactive microglia. These results indicate that reactive astrocytes may exert paracrine trophic actions through S100β and FGF-2 in the midbrain dopamine ascending pathways after striatal 6-OHDA treatment. Interactions between S100β and FGF-2 may be relevant to neuronal maintenance and repair following dopamine injury.