Radioligand binding assays to rat striatal dopamine D1 receptors showed that brain lateralization of the dopaminergic system were not due to changes in expression but in agonist affinity. D1 receptor-mediated striatal imbalance resulted from a significantly higher agonist affinity in the left striatum. D1 receptors heteromerize with dopamine D3 receptors, which are considered therapeutic targets for dyskinesia in parkinsonian patients. Expression of both D3 and D1¿D3 receptor heteromers were increased in samples from 6-hydroxy-dopamine-hemilesioned rats rendered dyskinetic by treatment with 3, 4-dihydroxyphenyl-l-alanine (l-DOPA). Similar findings were obtained using striatal samples from primates. Radioligand binding studies in the presence of a D3 agonist led in dyskinetic, but not in lesioned or l-DOPA-treated rats, to a higher dopamine sensitivity. Upon D3-receptor activation, the affinity of agonists for binding to the right striatal D1 receptor increased. Excess dopamine coming from l-DOPA medication likely activates D3 receptors thus making right and left striatal D1 receptors equally responsive to dopamine. These results show that dyskinesia occurs concurrently with a right/left striatal balance in D1 receptor-mediated neurotransmission.