Recent reports show that striatal dopamine D1-type receptors from one side of the normal rat brain can control brain activity (as measured by c-fos induction) on both sides of the brain. However, this phenomenon has not yet been studied in the presence of sensitized dopamine D1-type receptors. Here we address this issue by investigating the extent to which dopamine D1-type receptors control brain activation in rats with unilaterally sensitized dopamine D1-type receptors. Gene induction assays were used to identify activated regions from midbrain to forebrain in unilaterally 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned (hemiparkinsonian) rats challenged with the full dopamine D1-type agonist SKF82958 (3 mg/kg, 0.5 and 2 h). The genes used are c-fos, the proven neuronal activity marker, and Regulator of G protein Signaling 2, a gene we propose as a marker of signaling homeostasis. SKF82958-mediated induction of both genes is greatly enhanced in hemiparkinsonian rats compared with shams, in both the lesioned and the intact hemisphere. For example, in the denervated caudate-putamen at 2 h postinjection, this enhancement is more than 80-fold for c-fos and up to 20-fold for Regulator of G protein Signaling 2; for the intact side this is 35-fold for c-fos and 27-fold for Regulator of G protein Signaling 2. Cortical induction of c-fos and Regulator of G protein Signaling 2 was generalized to most neocortical regions and was essentially equivalent in both the denervated and intact hemispheres. Interestingly, hippocampal structures also showed strong bilateral induction of both genes. This overall pattern of brain activation can be accounted for by the basal-ganglia thalamocortical and hippocampal circuits which both contain hemisphere-crossing connections and which can be initially activated in the lesioned hemisphere. Some regions, such as the intact striatum or the CA1 region, showed relatively low c-fos induction and relatively high Regulator of G protein Signaling 2 induction, possibly indicating that these regions are engaged in unusually strong signaling regulation activities. Our results show that, besides basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits, dopamine D1-type-mediated brain activation in hemiparkinsonian rats also involves hippocampal circuits.