This study investigated the effects of stress on brain dopamine receptor densities in two inbred strains of mice. Analysis of [3H]SCH23390 binding by quantitative autoradiography revealed that repeated restraint stress significantly increases D1-like receptor density in the nucleus accumbens of mice of the DBA/2 strain whist reducing it in the caudate-putamen of C57BL/6 mice. No significant changes in D2-like receptor quantified by [3H](-)-sulpiride binding were observed in caudate, substantia nigra and accumbens of stressed C57BL/6 mice. Instead, in DBA/2 mice, stress significantly increased D2-like receptor density in the nucleus accumbens whilst reducing it in the substantia nigra. Finally, stress significantly increased D2-like receptor density within the ventral tegmental area of C57BL/6 mice whilst significantly reducing it in mice of the DBA/2 strain. These results indicate that stress promotes major changes in mesoaccumbens and nigrostriatal dopamine receptor densities. The direction of these changes depends on receptor subtype, brain area and strain. Moreover, the opposite changes of D2-like receptor densities promoted by stress in the ventral tegmental area of the two inbred strains of mice suggest that mesoaccumbens dopamine autoreceptors density might be controlled by a major genotype x stress interaction.