We have previously reported that tolbutamide prevents the inhibition of gap junction communication in astrocytes. Here, we show that tolbutamide increases gap junction communication and connexin 43 expression in poorly coupled C6 glioma cells. The increase in communication is concurrent with the inhibition of the rate of proliferation due to a block of the progression of C6 glioma cells through the S phase of the cell cycle. The effects of tolbutamide were quantitatively similar to that found after the elevation of intracellular cAMP. Furthermore, the effects of tolbutamide and cAMP were additive. The possible beneficial effect of tolbutamide on gene therapy for gliomas is discussed.