CGS 15943 (0.1-10 mg/kg, IP) dose-dependently increased the locomotor activity of rats to the same extent as caffeine (1.0-100 mg/kg, IP) did and was approximately 26 times more potent than caffeine. N-Ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (0.001-0.01 mg/kg, SC), an analog of adenosine, dose-dependently decreased locomotor activity; this effect was antagonized surmountably by concurrent administration of CGS 15943. The apparent pA2 value for this interaction, 6.57, was approximately 1.5 log-units (28-fold) higher than the pA2 for caffeine-NECA reported previously. Rats consuming 70 mg/kg/day of caffeine via their drinking water were tolerant to the stimulation of locomotor activity induced by both caffeine and CGS 15943. These results suggest that caffeine and CGS 15943 increase locomotor activity by a common mechanism of action possibly involving adenosine receptors or a cellular element conformationally similar to adenosine receptors.