3-Methoxytyramine (3-MT) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) rates of formation were used, respectively, to assess the dynamics of dopamine (DA) release and turnover in the rat frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and striatum. Assuming total (re)uptake and metabolism of released DA are relatively uniform among the three brain regions, a simplified two pool model was used to assess the metabolic fate of released DA. Under basal conditions, 3-MT formation was found to comprise > 60% of total DA turnover (sum of 3-MT plus DOPAC rates of formation) in the frontal cortex, and not more than 15% in the nucleus accumbens and striatum. Haloperidol increased the 3-MT rate of formation to a greater extent in the frontal cortex than in the two other regions. Clozapine increased the 3-MT rate of formation in the frontal cortex and decreased it in the striatum. Both drugs increased DOPAC rate of formation in the frontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. It was elevated by haloperidol but not clozapine in the striatum. It is concluded that (1) O-methylation is a prominent step in the catabolism of DA in the frontal cortex under both physiological conditions and after acute treatment with antipsychotics, (2) 3-MT is the major metabolite of released DA in the frontal cortex and possibly also in the nucleus accumbens and striatum, (3) in contrast to the frontal cortex, most of the DOPAC in the nucleus accumbens and striatum appear to originate from intraneuronal deamination of DA that has not been released, (4) because presynaptic uptake and metabolism of DA give rise to DOPAC, whereas postsynaptic uptake and metabolism produced both DOPAC and 3-MT, the ratio of 3-MT to DOPAC rates of formation can be a useful index of reuptake inhibition.