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We studied the metabolic responses to different DA concentrations elicited by four doses of D-amphetamine (AMPH, 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, or 3.0 mg/kg). We compared the degree of DA release (via microdialysis) with striatal cAMP activity and whole brain maps of cerebral blood volume (rCBV) changes (via pharmacological MRI, phMRI). Results: AMPH increased DA release in the caudate/putamen (CPu) and cAMP activity in the CPu, nucleus accumbens (NAc), and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in a linear dose-dependent manner (P < 0.0001). The cAMP data suggest that, postsynaptically, signal transduction induced by D1 receptor is stronger than that of D2 receptor at the higher doses (1-3 mg/kg). phMRI showed that, while higher doses of AMPH (3 mg/kg (n = 7) and 1 mg/kg (n = 6)) induced significant rCBV increases in the CPu and NAc, the degree of rCBV increase was much smaller with AMPH of 0.5 mg/kg (n = 6). In contrast, AMPH of 0.25 mg/kg (n = 8) induced significant rCBV decreases in the anteromedial CPu and NAc. The sign switch of rCBV in response to AMPH from low to high doses likely reflects the switching in the balance of D2/D3 stimulation vs. D1/D5 stimulation. In conclusion, degree of postsynaptic signal transduction is linearly correlated to the extracellular DA concentration. However, the presynaptic binding may dominate the overall DA innervation at the lower range of DA concentration.