Recent studies demonstrate that multiple dopamine receptor subtypes contribute to the regulation of vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT-2) activity. The present studies extend these findings by demonstrating that administration of the nonselective dopamine D2 receptor family agonist, quinpirole, rapidly increased vesicular dopamine uptake in purified rat striatal vesicles. This effect occurred in both postnatal day 40 and 90 rats, and was associated with redistribution of the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT-2) within nerve terminals. Neither a full nor a partial dopamine D1 receptor family agonist (SKF81297 nor SKF38393, respectively) affected vesicular dopamine uptake per se, nor the effect of quinpirole. Neither the dopamine D3 nor the D4 receptor antagonists, NGB2904 and clozapine, respectively, altered the quinpirole-mediated increase in uptake. However, the nonselective dopamine D2 receptor family antagonist, eticlopride, prevented the quinpirole-induced increase. Taken together, these data demonstrate that dopamine D2 receptor subtype activation increases vesicular dopamine uptake. Implications of this phenomenon with regard to the treatment of Parkinson's disease will be discussed.