Intrastriatal grafts of nigral and adrenal tissues have been found to be effective in alleviating many of the simple motor and sensorimotor deficits associated with lesions of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. However, the mechanisms by which such grafts exert their effects may be less specific than originally conceived, and both pharmacological and trophic actions play an essential role. Damage to intrinsic cortico-striatal circuits are unlikely to prove similarly amenable to such diffuse mechanisms of repair. Nevertheless, striatal grafts have been found to alleviate cognitive and motor deficits after excitotoxic lesions of the neostriatum. Accumulating evidence suggests that in this particular case many aspects of functional recovery may indeed be attributable to the striatal grafts providing an effective functional reconstruction of damaged neuronal circuits within the host brain.