SKF 38393, a selective D1 dopamine receptor agonist, was investigated when administered alone and in combination with dopaminergic agonists in animal models of extrapyramidal behavior. SKF 38393 did not induce stereotypy in normal rats but enhanced apomorphine-induced stereotypy in a dose-dependent manner. SKF 38393 also augmented and altered the stereotypic response of dopaminergic agonists (+)-4-propylhydronaphthoxazine quinpirole, and ciladopa. The addition of SKF 38393 with ciladopa changed the behavioral response of ciladopa from a partial to a full agonist. SKF 38393 did not alter locomotor behavior; however, it augmented the stimulatory but not the inhibitory response of apomorphine on locomotion. In unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned animals, SKF 38393 caused contralateral rotation that were similar to those of other dopaminergic agonists. The addition of SKF 38393 to both mixed D1/D2 (levodopa, pergolide) and selective D2 (PHNO, quinpirole) dopamine agonists resulted in a synergistic rather than an additive effect. No changes in behavior were observed in rats challenged with apomorphine after being treated 21 days with SKF 38393, PHNO, SKF 38393 plus PHNO, or saline. D1 agonism is capable of augmenting and altering dopaminergic behavior of both mixed D1/D2 and D2 dopamine receptor agonists. A combination of D1 and D2 dopamine agonists may represent optimal drug treatment for Parkinson's disease.