Abstract We investigated the effect of unilateral dorsal striatal dopamine depletion (by intrastriatal infusion of 6-OHDA), ibotenic acid lesions of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and combined dopamine depletion and STN lesions on sensorimotor asymmetry using a test of somatosensory asymmetry [T. Schallert et al., Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 16 (1982) 455–462]. The unilateral striatal dopamine depletion resulted in a somatosensory asymmetry. This asymmetry was ameliorated in the rats with combined dopamine depletion and STN lesion, indicating the potential beneficial nature of STN inactivation in rats with striatal dopamine depletion.