Dopamine, in addition to its importance as a precursor of norepinephrine, is now known to be an important neurotransmitter in regulating functional activities in a number of major organ systems, including the central ner vous system. the cardiovascular system, the kidney, and the gut. Recent advances in our understanding of the functional role of dopamine, its mechanism of action and the pharmacology of dopaminergic agents have occurred on a broad front. The last few years have witnessed significant progress in the identification and classification of central and peripheral dopamine receptors and the factors that affect their responsiveness to inhibitory and stimulatory ligands. These advances have been paralleled by new insights into the contribution of alterations in dopaminergic reg ulation in causing disease and the utility of dopamine agonists and an tagonists as therapeutic modalities. This volume, the first in a series of publications arising from the annual Smith Kline and French Research Symposium on New Horizons in Therapeutics, provides a comprehensive survey of current research on peripheral dopamine receptors and the physiologic and therapeutic con sequences of stimulating pre-and postsynaptic dopamine receptors. Research in dopamine pharmacology mirrors the remarkable ad vances that are occurring in the field of pharmacology at large as a con sequence of the involvement of an ever-larger number of scientific dis ciplines in the study of drug action.