Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and its inhibitors (TIMPs) function to remodel the pericellular environment. We have demonstrated that methamphetamine (METH)-induced behavioral sensitization and reward were markedly attenuated in MMP-2- and MMP-9 deficient [MMP-2-(-/-) and MMP-9-(-/-)] mice compared with those in wild-type mice, suggesting that METH-induced expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in the brain plays a role in the development of METH-induced sensitization and reward. In the present study, we investigated the changes in TIMP-2 expression in the brain after repeated METH treatment. Furthermore, we studied a role of MMP/TIMP system in METH-induced behavioral changes and dopamine neurotransmission. Repeated METH treatment induced behavioral sensitization, which was accompanied by an increase in TIMP-2 expression. Antisense TIMP-2 oligonucleotide (TIMP-AS) treatment enhanced the sensitization, which was associated with the potentiation of METH-induced dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). On the other hand, MMP-2/-9 inhibitors blocked the METH-induced behavioral sensitization and conditioned place preference, a measure of the rewarding effect, and reduced the METH-increased dopamine release in the NAc. Dopamine receptor agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding was reduced in the frontal cortex of sensitized rats. TIMP-AS treatment potentiated, while MMP-2/-9 inhibitor attenuated, the reduction of dopamine D2 receptor agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding. Repeated METH treatment also reduced dopamine D2 receptor agonist-stimulated [ 35S]GTPγS binding in wild-type mice, but such changes were significantly attenuated in MMP-2-(-/-) and MMP-9-(-/-) mice. These results suggest that the MMP/TIMP system is involved in METH-induced behavioral sensitization and reward, by regulating dopamine release and receptor signaling. © 2007 The Authors.