Dyskinesia is a major side effect of an otherwise effective L-DOPA treatment in Parkinson's patients. The prevailing view for the underlying presynaptic mechanism of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID) suggests that surges in dopamine (DA) via uncontrolled release from serotonergic terminals results in abnormally high level of extracellular striatal dopamine. Here we used high-sensitivity online microdialysis and PET imaging techniques to directly investigate DA release properties from serotonergic terminals both in the parkinsonian striatum and after neuronal transplantation in 6-OHDA lesioned rats. Although L-DOPA administration resulted in a drift in extracellular DA levels, we found no evidence for abnormally high striatal DA release from serotonin neurons. The extracellular concentration of DA remained at or below levels detected in the intact striatum. Instead, our results showed that an inefficient release pool of DA associated with low D2 receptor binding remained unchanged. Taken together, these findings suggest that differential DA receptor activation rather than excessive release could be the underlying mechanism explaining LID seen in this model. Our data have important implications for development of drugs targeting the serotonergic system to reduce DA release to manage dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease.