In order to study the quantitative structure/activity relationship of organic cation transport across the contraluminal side of the proximal renal tubule cell, the stopped-flow capillary microperfusion method was applied and the inhibitory potency (apparent Ki values) of different homologous series of substrates against N1-[3H]methylnicotinamide (NMeN+) transport was evaluated. Aniline and its ring- or N-substituted analogues as well as the aminonaphthalines do not interact with the contraluminal NMeN+ transporter except for the quaternary trimethylphenylammonium and pararosaniline, which bear a permanent positive charge, and for 1,8-bis-(dimethylamino)naphthaline, which forms an intramolecular hydrogen bond. If, however, one or more than one methylene group is interposed between the benzene ring and the amino group, the compounds interact with the contraluminal NMeN+ transporter in proportion to their hydrophobicity parameter, i.e. the octanol/water partition coefficient (log octanol). The catecholamines and other hydroxyl-substituted phenylethyl analogues also follow this rule. In addition, the N-heterocyclic pyridine, quinoline, isoquinoline and acridine analogues also interact with the contraluminal NMeN+ transporter, when their pKa values are higher than 5.0, and, an inverse correlation between pKa and log Ki,NMeN was observed. An exception to this rule are those hydroxy compounds of pyridine, quinoline and isoquinoline that show tautomerism. These compounds slightly inhibit NMeN+ transport despite low pKa values. The quaternary nitrogen compounds of aniline and the N-heterocyclic analogues, as far as tested, all interact with the contraluminal NMeN+ transporter in relation to their hydrophobicity. The data indicate that the contraluminal NMeN+ transporter interacts with N-compounds according to their hydrophobicity and/or according to their basicity (affinity to protons). The reason for deviation of the aniline analogues and the OH-tautomeric heterocyclic N-compounds from this behaviour is discussed.