By use of the radioligand [3H]spiroperidol, D2 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethylamine (dopamine) receptor binding characteristics were studied in calf globus pallidus and compared with those of neostriatum. Antagonist competition curves were monophasic and revealed similar affinities for neostriatum and globus pallidus, suggesting a uniform receptor population with one affinity state for antagonists. In both regions, competition curves with the agonist dopamine were biphasic, distinguishing a high- and low-agonist-affinity state. In neostriatum and globus pallidus, respectively, 45% and 19% of [3H]spiroperidol binding was displaced with high affinity and the remainder with low affinity. In neostriatum, the addition of 0.4 mM GTP resulted in a partial conversion from high- to low-affinity state with a remaining high-affinity component of 15%. In globus pallidus, dopamine binding was not altered by GTP. The capability of GTP to modulate agonist binding to D2 receptors appears to be dependent on their neuroanatomical localization.