Anisomycin and cycloheximide were used to investigate the role of protein synthesis in the mechanism of behavioral sensitization to the stereotypic effects of cocaine and amphetamine in mice. The drugs completely antagonize induction and partially block expression of the sensitization. Because these drugs were found to be neither antidopaminergic nor antiglutamatergic, it seems that they disrupt sensitization at a novel locus. The antagonism of expression is limited to that quantitative fraction of the response derived from the sensitization reaction; the acute response is unaffected by the inhibitors of protein synthesis. The results differ from those obtained with haloperidol which can completely block either the acute or sensitized response to the stimulants. These results suggest that the sensitized response is functionally different from that of the acute response. The blockage of sensitization induction by the protein synthesis inhibitors may be related to other reports that the stimulants induce the transcription of immediate early genes; however, the relationship between the activation of immediate early genes and behavioral sensitization remains to be determined.