The partial DA receptor agonist preclamol, (-)-3-PPP (50-200 mumol/kg, s.c.) partially reversed the catalepsy induced by the dopamine (DA) receptor antagonists haloperidol (5.3 mumol/kg, i.p.) and raclopride (20.1 mumol/kg, i.p.) in rats. Terguride (transdihydrolisuride), a partial DA receptor agonist with an efficacy lower than that of preclamol, blocked haloperidol (10.6 mumol/kg, i.p.) induced catalepsy at 5 mumol/kg, s.c., but not at 20 mumol/kg, s.c. The effects of terguride in this assay are possibly related to the compound's mixed partial DA agonist/5-HT1A receptor agonist properties. The high efficacy agonist, pramipexole (SND 919) also blocked haloperidol induced catalepsy at 50 mumol/kg, s.c. Haloperidol (0.33-1.3 mumol/kg, i.p.) reduced the locomotor activity down to 5% of saline controls and elevated limbic and striatal DOPA accumulation. When combined with haloperidol, preclamol (100-200 mumol/kg, s.c.) antagonized both the strong hypomotility and increase in DOPA accumulation. Finally, the elevation of serum prolactin in rats induced by haloperidol (0.25 mumol/kg, i.p.) was significantly antagonized by co-administration of preclamol (39 mumol/kg, s.c.). These results show that partial DA agonists can reverse both behavioral, biochemical and neuroendocrine effects of neuroleptics. It also suggests the utility of partial DA receptor agonists in combination with classical neuroleptics in order to minimize the appearance of extrapyramidal side-effects and hyperprolactinemia.