It has been shown that striatal adenosine A2A receptors can antagonistically interact with dopamine D2 receptors at the membrane level leading to a decrease in the affinity and efficacy of D2 receptors. Extracellular recordings and rotational behaviour were employed to obtain a correlate to these findings in an animal model of Parkinson's disease (PD). The recordings were performed in rats with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced catecholamine depletion. While recording in the dopamine-depleted striatum, local applications of the dopamine D2 agonist quinpirole reduced neuronal activity. However, when the adenosine A2A antagonist MSX-3 was applied simultaneously with quinpirole, the inhibition of neuronal firing seen after quinpirole alone was significantly potentiated (P < 0.001, n = 11). In contrast, local application of CGS 21680 attenuated the effect of quinpirole. The doses of MSX-3 and CGS 21680 used to achieve the modulation of quinpirole action had no effect per se on striatal neuronal firing. Furthermore, rotational behaviour revealed that MSX-3 dose-dependently increased the number of turns when administrated together with a threshold dose of quinpirole while no enhancement was achieved when MSX-3 was combined with SKF 38393. MSX-3 alone did not induce rotational behaviour. In conclusion, this study shows that low ineffective doses of MSX-3 enhance the effect of quinpirole on striatal firing rate, while the A2A agonist exerts the opposite action. This mechanism gives a therapeutic potential to A2A antagonists in the treatment of PD by enhancing D2 receptor function.