1. Conflicting results have been reported regarding the influence of nitric oxide (NO) and peroxynitrite on dopamine (DA) uptake and release. In the present study, effects of NO donors were studied in rat C6 glioma cells expressing human DA transporter. 2. [(3)H]-DA uptake was inhibited by S-nitroso-thiol S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, spermine/NO, diethylamine/NO (DEA/NO), (Z)-1-[N-(3-ammoniopropyl)-N-(n-propyl)-amino]/NO (PAPA/NO), and 3-morphosynodiomine (SIN-1) in a rank order correlating with their half lives as NO donors, whereas no effect was observed for diethylenetriamine/NO and dipropylenetriamine/NO, which release NO very slowly. 3. Hydroxycobalamin, a NO scavenger, but not superoxide dismutase and catalase, enzymes that metabolize superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, respectively, abolished the inhibitory effect of DEA/NO and SIN-1, indicating that they inhibit DA uptake through a mechanism related to the production of NO but unrelated to the formation of peroxynitrite. In consonance, peroxynitrite did not alter DA uptake in the present system. 4. DEA/NO and PAPA/NO reduced [(3)H]-MPP(+) uptake, whereas the release of [(3)H]-MPP(+) was not modified, demonstrating that NO can inhibit uptake of DA transporter substrate without accelerating DA transporter-mediated reverse transport of substrate under the same conditions.