Dual probe microdialysis was employed in freely moving 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) hemilesioned rats to investigate the effects of blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the dorsolateral striatum on glutamate (Glu) release from the ipsilateral substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr). Perfusion for 60 min with the NMDA antagonist dizocilpine (0.1 and 1 μm) in the dopamine (DA)-denervated striatum stimulated nigral Glu release (peak effect of 139 ± 7% and 138 ± 9%, respectively). The lower (0.01 μm) and higher (10 μm) concentrations were ineffective. In sham-operated rats, dizocilpine failed to affect nigral Glu release up to 1 μm but induced a prolonged stimulation at 10 μm (153 ± 9% at the end of perfusion). The present results show that DA-deficiency in the striatum of hemiparkinsonian rats is associated with increased responsivity of nigral Glu release to striatal NMDA receptor blockade. This suggests that changes of NMDA receptor mediated control of the striatofugal pathways occur during Parkinson's disease (PD).