Hypericin, an antiretroviral and antineoplastic agent, seems to have multiple modes of light-induced biological activity connected with the production of single oxygen and/or excited-state proton transfer and a consequent pH drop of pH formation in the hypericin environment. In the present study omeprazole, an inhibitor of H+K+-ATPase, and amiloride, an inhibitor of the Na+/H+ exchanger, have been used for testing the hypothetical pH decreasing effect of hypericin in its antineoplastic action. The results of our experiments have shown that in the HL-60 cell line the effect of hypericin (10(-6) mol.l(-1)) was significantly potentiated by omeprazole and 5'-(N,N-dimethyl)-amiloride. The effect of omeprazole seemed to be less specific than that of 5'-(N,N-dimethyl)-amiloride. Our results support the hypothesis that the excited-state proton transfer and the consequent acidification of the hypericin environment could play a role in the biological activity of hypericin. Moreover, both omeprazole and 5'-(N,N-dimethyl)-amiloride are effective potentiating agents of hypericin cytotoxic effect in the HL60 cell line.