A small diameter positron emission tomography (PET) scanner has been used to monitor [11C]raclopride (D2 receptor) binding in vivo in either intact striatum, denervated striatum following an excitotoxic lesion with ibotenic acid, or lesioned and grafted striatum following implantation of cortical or striatal tissue grafts in rats. Binding of [11C]raclopride was localized in the intact striatum within 20 min of injection of the radioligand, and was much reduced within the lesioned striatum. Cortical grafts exhibited a similar low level of binding to the lesioned striatum, whereas striatal grafts showed specific binding at an intermediate level. The [11C]raclopride binding signal in vivo correlated well with the extent of surviving or grafted striatal tissue observed post morten by Nissl staining and acetylcholinesterase histochemistry. Thus, the distribution of dopamine receptors as seen in the PET scanner are consistent with post mortem anatomical observations of striatal, lesion and graft sizes, and suggest that PET can provide a useful tool for monitoring the viability of implanted striatal graft tissues in vivo.