In the striatum, stimulation of dopamine D2 receptors results in attenuation of glutamate responses. This effect is exerted in large part via negative regulation of AMPA glutamate receptors. Phosphorylation of the GluR1 subunit of the AMPA receptor has been proposed to play a critical role in the modulation of glutamate transmission, in striatal medium spiny neurons. Here, we have examined the effects of blockade of dopamine D2-like receptors on the phosphorylation of GluR1 at the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) site, Ser845, and at the protein kinase C and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II site, Ser831. Administration of haloperidol, an antipsychotic drug with dopamine D2 receptor antagonistic properties, increases the phosphorylation of GluR1 at Ser845, without affecting phosphorylation at Ser831. The same effect is observed using eticlopride, a selective dopamine D2 receptor antagonist. In contrast, administration of the dopamine D2-like agonist, quinpirole, decreases GluR1 phosphorylation at Ser845. The increase in Ser845 phosphorylation produced by haloperidol is abolished in dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32) knockout mice, or in mice in which the PKA phosphorylation site on DARPP-32 (i.e. Thr34) has been mutated (Thr34 → Ala mutant mice), and requires tonic activation of adenosine A2A receptors. These results demonstrate that dopamine D2 antagonists increase GluR1 phosphorylation at Ser845 by removing the inhibitory tone exerted by dopamine D2 receptors on the PKA/DARPP-32 cascade.