Dopamine receptors belong to a superfamily of receptors that exert their biological effects through guanine nucleotide-binding (G) proteins. Two main dopamine receptor subtypes have been identified, D1 and D2, which differ in their pharmacological and biochemical characteristics. D1 stimulates adenylyl cyclase activity, whereas D2 inhibits it. Both receptors are primary targets for drugs used to treat many psychomotor diseases, including Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. Whereas the dopamine D1 receptor has been cloned, biochemical and behavioural data indicate that dopamine D1-like receptors exist which either are not linked to adenylyl cyclase or display different pharmacological activities. We report here the cloning of a gene encoding a 477-amino-acid protein with strong homology to the cloned D1 receptor. The receptor, called D5, binds drugs with a pharmacological profile similar to that of the cloned D1 receptor, but displays a 10-fold higher affinity for the endogenous agonist, dopamine. As with D1, the dopamine D5 receptor stimulates adenylyl cyclase activity. Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses reveal that the receptor is neuron-specific, localized primarily within limbic regions of the brain; no messenger RNA was detected in kidney, liver, heart or parathyroid gland. The existence of a dopamine D1-like receptor with these characteristics had not been predicted and may represent an alternative pathway for dopamine-mediated events and regulation of D2 receptor activity.