The mechanism of the gastric antisecretory action of SCH 28080 has been studied utilizing two different in vitro test systems, isolated and enriched parietal cells from the guinea-pig and guinea-pig gastric membranes purified and enriched with K+/H+-ATPase. In guinea-pig isolated and enriched parietal cells SCH 28080 inhibited the acid response to histamine and high K+ concentrations with IC50 values not significantly different from each other. SCH 28080 inhibited the purified K+/H+-ATPase measured in the presence of 5 mM KCl with an IC50 value of 1.3 microM. Kinetic studies indicated a competitive inhibition of ATPase by SCH 28080 with respect to K+. Studies on Na+/K+-ATPase showed that this enzyme was only slightly depressed by SCH 28080. It is concluded that SCH 28080 acts with high selectivity on the parietal cell K%/H+-ATPase, establishing its antisecretory effect by a competitive interaction with the high affinity K+-site of the gastric ATPase.