A metabolically protected analog of substance P, [pGlu5-MePhe8-MeGly9]SP(5-11) (DiMe-C7), was approximately equipotent with substance P in causing increased locomotor activity after microinfusion into the ventral tegmental area of rat brain, but the effects of DiMe-C7 on behavior were considerably prolonged. There was little metabolic degradation of tritiated DiMe-C7 for up to 1 hour after infusion, whereas tritiated substance P was completely degraded within 10 minutes.