Several electrophysiological studies have addressed the interaction between glutamate and dopamine within the striatum. Although the results obtained from these studies were often conflicting, more recently the characterization of new forms of synaptic plasticity in the basal ganglia provided a possible integrative explanation of the different electrophysiological data regarding the interaction between these transmitters. In this review we will try to summarize and discuss the available data concerning the possible impact of the functional role of D1 and D2 receptor activation on the modulation of the glutamatergic corticostriatal pathway. Moreover, we will also describe the function of the striatum in the integration of glutamatergic and dopaminergic inputs to produce long-term changes of synaptic efficacy (long-term depression, long-term potentiation). Finally, we will consider the implication of the interaction between dopamine and glutamate in the regulation of energetic metabolism whose failure is responsible for neuronal death.