Skilled forelimb movements depend on an intact dopaminergic (DA) neurotransmission and are substantially impaired in the unilateral rat model of Parkinson's disease. It has remained unclear, however, to what extent reaching and grasping movements can be influenced by intrastriatal transplantation of fetal DA neurons. Here an extensive behavioral assessment of skilled forelimb movement patterns in hemiparkinsonian and DA-grafted rats was carried out. Good DA graft survival was accompanied by a compensation of drug-induced rotational asymmetries. Interestingly, skilled forelimb use was significantly improved in transplanted animals as compared to lesion-only animals in the staircase test. Qualitative analysis of single forelimb reaching movement components revealed dissociable patterns of graft effects: while some movement components in grafted animals improved, others remained unchanged or even deteriorated. These findings provide novel insights into the complex interactions of graft-derived restoration of DA neurotransmission and skilled forelimb behavior.