Dopamine D3 receptor antagonists and partial agonists have been shown to modulate drug-seeking effects induced by cocaine and other abused substances. Compound 6 [PG01037, (N-(4-(4-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-piperazin-1-yl)-trans-but-2- enyl)-4-pyridine-2-ylbenzamide)] and related analogues are currently being evaluated in animal models of drug addiction. In these studies, a discrepancy between in vitro binding affinity, in vivo occupancy, and behavioral potency has been observed. The purpose of this study was to examine (1) modifications of the 2-pyridylphenyl moiety of 6 and (2) hydroxyl, acetyl, and cyclopropyl substitutions on the butylamide linking chain systematically coupled with 2-fluorenylamide or 2-pyridylphenylamide and 2-methoxy- or 2,3-dichloro- substituted phenylpiperazines to measure the impact on binding affinity, D2/D3 selectivity, lipophilicity, and function. In general, these modifications were well tolerated at the human dopamine D3 (hD3) receptor (Ki = 1-5 nM) as measured in competition binding assays. Several analogues showed > 100-fold selectivity for dopamine D3 over D2 and D4 receptors. In addition; while all the derivatives with an olefinic linker were antagonists, in quinpirole-stimulated mitogenesis at hD3 receptors, several of the hydroxybutyl-linked analogues (16, 17, 21) showed partial agonist activity. Finally, several structural modifications reduced lipophilicities while retaining the desired binding profile.