The functional capabilities of dopamine neuron-rich grafts implanted into the accumbens and striatal regions in neonatal rats were evaluated in a series of behavioural tests. The ascending mesotelencephalic dopaminergic system of three-day-old rat pups was bilaterally lesioned by injecting 6-hydroxydopamine at the level of the lateral hypothalamus. Five days later a suspension containing dopaminergic neurons obtained from embryonic day 14 mesencephali was injected bilaterally into the striatal complex. The functional effects of such grafts were evaluated using behavioural tests for which it was known that the performance of the animals is changed following the lesion of the mesotelencephalic pathway and for which the influence of dopaminergic grafts implanted into adult hosts have previously been described. The dopamine-rich grafts compensated for the modifications of the locomotor responsiveness to amphetamine and apomorphine induced by neonatal dopamine depletion. However, the grafts were unable to restore more complex behaviours such as hoarding for food pellets, schedule-induced polydipsia and learning behaviours. Moreover, the neonatal transplants induced additional deficits such as catalepsia, nocturnal hyperactivity and day-time hyperactivity during food deprivation. It was concluded that, at least in the present paradigm, the implantation into neonatal brain does not lead to any greater functional recovery than that observed after implantation during adulthood.