High frequency stimulation (HFS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) can partially alleviate motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the mechanism of action of HFS is incompletely understood. We investigated the effect of HFS (130 Hz) and low frequency stimulation (LFS, 20 Hz) of the STN on striatal dopaminergic transmission and metabolism using in vivo microdialysis in anaesthetized and freely moving rats. While LFS had no effect, HFS of the STN produced a delayed, stable and intensity-dependent increase of extracellular dopamine metabolites. Striatal extracellular levels of dopamine and 5-HIAA were not influenced by HFS or LFS in the present experimental paradigm. We conclude that HFS of the STN influences striatal dopaminergic metabolism in naive, nonlesioned rats.