The application of most agents with the capacity to reverse multidrug resistance (MDR) via modulation of the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein (Pgp) was shown to be associated with toxic side-effects. For this reason, we have investigated the effect of combinations of suboptimal concentrations of Pgp blockers on the induction of apoptosis and growth arrest in daunorubicin (D) treated, MDR1 gene transfected cells. We used verapamil, PSC833 and Cremophor EL as Pgp modulators, which affect the function of Pgp by different mechanisms. Treatment of NIH3T3/MDR1 cells with combinations of suboptimal concentrations of Pgp modulators in the presence of D caused apoptosis and G(2) arrest to the same extent as optimal concentrations of singly used blockers. We conclude that combinations of suboptimal concentrations of Pgp modulators may cause effective sensitization of resistant tumor cells, and at the same time, may avoid the frequently observed toxic effects experienced in clinical trials with a single modifier applied at the optimal dose.