ATP signaling to neurons and glia in the nervous system occurs via activation of both P2Y and P2X receptors. Here, we investigated the effects of P2Y(1) receptor stimulation in developing striatal medium-sized neurons using patch-clamp recordings from acute brain slices of 7- and 28-day-old rats. Application of the selective P2Y(1) receptor agonist 2-(Methylthio) ADP trisodium salt (2-MeSADP; 250 nM) increased outward K(+) currents evoked by a ramp depolarization protocol in voltage-clamp recordings. This effect was observed in 59 out of 82 cells (72%) and was blocked completely by the P2Y(1) antagonist, 2'-deoxy-N(6)-methyl adenosine 3',5'-diphosphate. The averaged 2-MeSADP-sensitive conductance was fitted by the sum of a linear conductance and a Boltzmann relation, giving one-half activation voltage of -14.2 mV and an equivalent charge of 2.91. The 2MeSADP-mediated effect was sensitive to submillimolar concentrations of tetraethylammonium (TEA; 200 μM), to 200 nM iberiotoxin and to 100 nM apamin, suggesting the involvement of both big and small potassium (BK and SK, respectively) calcium-activated channels. In current-clamp experiments, 2-MeSADP decreased depolarization-evoked action potential (AP) firing in all 26 cells investigated, and this effect was reversed by TEA and by apamin but not by iberiotoxin. We conclude that the stimulation of P2Y(1) receptors in developing striatal neurons leads to activation of calcium-activated potassium channels [I(K(Ca))] of both BK and SK subtypes, the latter responsible for decreasing the frequency of AP firing in response to current injection. Therefore, P2Y(1) signaling leading to activation of I(K(Ca)) may be important in regulating the activity of medium-sized neurons in the striatum.