Rabbit neostriatal slices were prelabeled with [3H]dopamine (DA) and [14C]choline and then superfused. The electrical stimulation-evoked release of DA and of acetylcholine (ACh) was abolished by 0.33 microM tetrodotoxin and by low calcium concentrations (0.13 mM). Bromocriptine, a selective D2-DA receptor agonist, inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner the evoked overflow of DA and ACh, without affecting the basal efflux of both transmitters. The effects of bromocriptine were antagonized by sulpiride, a specific antagonist of D2-DA receptors. With stimulation at 0.3 Hz and 120 pulses, bromocriptine was eight times more potent in inhibiting the evoked overflow of DA (IC50: 11 nM) than that of ACh (IC50: 83 nM). Stimulations at 3 Hz and 360 pulses markedly reduced the potency of bromocriptine in inhibiting DA and ACh release, and diminished its selectivity for presynaptic receptors. These results indicate that DA receptors that modulate the release of DA and ACh are of the D2 subtype. The greater potency of bromocriptine at pre- than at postsynaptic sites suggests that these receptors may be different in quantity and/or quality [D2-alpha (presynaptic) versus D2-beta (postsynaptic)]. Finally, marked differences in the potency and efficacy of DA agonist actions on DA and ACh release modulatory receptors are obtained, depending on the parameters of stimulation used.