Recent studies have revealed that the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) might act as a psychostimulant. Here we investigated the mechanisms underlying motor hyperactivity in patients with pervasive developmental disorders, such as autism, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We studied the effects of intracisternal administration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or endocrine disruptors (EDs) on spontaneous motor activity (SMA) and multiple gene expression in neonatal rats. Treatment with 6-OHDA caused significant hyperactivity during the dark phase in rats aged 4-5 weeks. Motor hyperactivities also were observed after treatment with endocrine disruptors, such as bisphenol A, nonylphenol, diethylhexyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate, during both dark and light phases. Gene-expression profiles produced using cDNA macroarrays of 8-week-old rats with 6-OHDA lesions revealed the altered expression of several classes of gene, including the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor 1, glutamate/aspartate transporter, gamma-aminobutyric-acid transporter, dopamine transporter 1, D4 receptor, and peptidergic elements such as the galanin receptor, arginine vasopressin receptor, neuropeptide Y and tachykinin 2. The changes in gene expression caused by treatment with endocrine disruptors differed from those induced by 6-OHDA. These results suggest that the mechanisms underlying the induction of motor hyperactivity and/or compensatory changes in young adult rats might differ between 6-OHDA and endocrine disruptors.