The synthetic peptide semax (a fragment of ACTH 4-7 Pro-Gly-Pro) enhances the release of extracell dopamine (DA) induced by D-amphetamine (5 mg/kg) in the striatum of Spraig-Dowley (SD) rats and increases the locomotor activity stimulated by D-amphetamine (2 mg/kg) in C57/BL6 mice. The basal content of DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DHPAA), and homovanillic acid (HVA) in dialysate of SD rats was 0.5-1.0, 996 +/- 25, and 761 +/- 37 pmole/ml, respectively (n = 7). D-amphetamine (5 mg/kg) induced a sharp increases in the DA level (up to 20 pmole/ml) 20-40 min after treatment and reduced the extracell DHPAA content to 30% of the basal level for a prolonged time (over the entire experimental period). Preliminary (20 min before D-amphetamine) administration of semax resulted in a greater peak of DA concentration (p < 0.05) and a more pronounced drop in DHPAA level (p < 0.01) as compared to the effects produced by the psychostimulant alone. In behavioral tests on C57/BL6 mice, D-amphetamine (2 mg/kg) increased the locomotor activity to a level of 182% (p < 0.01). Simultaneous introduction of semax (0.6 mg/kg) and D-amphetamine (2 mg/kg) led to a more pronounced increase in the locomotor activity of mice (261%, p < 0.01). It is suggested that the peptide modulates dopaminergic systems involved in the formation of the psychostimulant effect.