We used a microdialysis technique to analyze the effects of footshock stress on the release of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) in the striatum or prefrontal cortex (PFC) in rats that were pretreated with nicotine. Neither nicotine administration alone nor stress application alone changed 5-HT release. During stress application, however, both chronic nicotine administration and local infusion of nicotine to the striatum significantly increased 5-HT release in the striatum, though not in the PFC. These increases in 5-HT release were eradicated by a local infusion of mecamylamine. Release of 5-HT increased in the striatum during stress application when nicotine was injected to the striatum, while nicotinic injection to the dorsal raphe nucleus did not increase 5-HT release in the striatum. The present study demonstrates that nicotine induced a release of 5-HT upon stress application by stimulating presynaptic nicotinic receptors in the striatum.