We studied the actions of D1 and D2 dopamine agonists and antagonists on the coupling of horizontal cell axons in the turtle retina by a combinationn of pharmacological and electrophysiological methods. Both D1 and D2 receptors were identified in membrane fractions by radioligand binding using [3H]-SCH 23390 and [3H]-spiperone, respectively. The KD of both receptor classes were identical (0.21 nM) but D1 receptor density exceeded that of D2 receptors by more than four-fold. D1 agonists increased the activity of adenylate cyclase in a dose-dependent manner, whereas D2 agonists were without significant effect by themselves, nor did D2 antagonists block the D1-mediated increase in adenylate cyclase activity. Intracellular recordings and Lucifer Yellow dye injections were used to characterize the modifications of the receptive field profile of horizontal cell axons (H1AT) exposed to different pharmacological agents. Dopamine or D1 agonists (0.05–10 μM) induced a marked constriction of the H1AT receptive field, whereas D2 agonists elicited a small expansion of the receptive field. However, in the presence of a D1 antagonist, as well as IBMX to inhibit phosphodiesterase, D2 agonists (10–70 μM) induced a marked increase in the receptive field profile. These results indicate that both D1 and D2 dopamine receptors play a role in shaping the receptive field profile of the horizontal cell axon terminal in the turtle retina.