This study determined the relationships of metabolic acidosis, cortical oxygen pressure, and striatal extracellular dopamine in the brain of newborn piglets. After a baseline period of 120 minutes, a 0.6 N HCl solution was infused intravenously to decrease the blood pH to about 7.0-7.05. The metabolic acidosis was then corrected by injecting sodium bicarbonate and measurements were continued for one hour. The results show that decreased blood pH to about 7.2-7.15 does not cause a statistically significant change in mean blood pressure, cortical oxygen pressure or striatal extracellular dopamine. Further decrease in pH caused significant decrease in both blood pressure and cortical oxygen pressure. By the end of the period of acidosis the cortical oxygen pressure decreased from the control value of 43 +/- 4 Torr to 22 +/- 8 Torr. Changes in the extracellular level of striatal dopamine were parallel to changes in cortical oxygen pressure. The extracellular dopamine increased to 1270% of the control on the end of HCl injection. Infusion of bicarbonate to correct the acidosis resulted in an increase of cortical oxygen and progressive decline of dopamine in the extracellular medium. It is suggested that the level of extracellular dopamine in the striatum of newborn piglets was not directly affected by decrease in pH but was dependent on changes in tissue oxygen pressure during metabolic acidosis.