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Inherited autosomal recessive mutations of the manganese (Mn) transporter gene SLC39A14 in humans, results in elevated blood and brain Mn concentrations and childhood-onset dystonia-parkinsonism. The pathophysiology of this disease is unknown, but the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system of the basal ganglia has been implicated. Here, we describe pathophysiological studies in Slc39a14-knockout (KO) mice as a preclinical model of dystonia-parkinsonism in SLC39A14 mutation carriers. Blood and brain metal concentrations in Slc39a14-KO mice exhibited a pattern similar to the human disease with highly elevated Mn concentrations. We observed an early-onset backward-walking behavior at postnatal day (PN) 21 which was also noted in PN60 Slc39a14-KO mice as well as dystonia-like movements. Locomotor activity and motor coordination were also impaired in Slc39a14-KO relative to wildtype (WT) mice. From a neurochemical perspective, striatal dopamine (DA) and metabolite concentrations and their ratio in Slc39a14-KO mice did not differ from WT. Striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemistry did not change in Slc39a14-KO mice relative to WT. Unbiased stereological cell quantification of TH-positive and Nissl-stained estimated neuron number, neuron density, and soma volume in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) was the same in Slc39a14-KO mice as in WT. However, we measured a marked inhibition (85–90%) of potassium-stimulated DA release in the striatum of Slc39a14-KO mice relative to WT. Our findings indicate that the dystonia-parkinsonism observed in this genetic animal model of the human disease is associated with a dysfunctional but structurally intact nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. The presynaptic deficit in DA release is unlikely to explain the totality of the behavioral phenotype and points to the involvement of other neuronal systems and brain regions in the pathophysiology of the disease.