Lidoflazine strongly inhibited the equilibrium exchange of uridine in human erythrocytes (Ki approximately 16 nM). Uridine zero-trans influx was similarly inhibited by lidoflazine in cultured HeLa cells (IC50 approximately to 80 nM), whereas P388 mouse leukemia and Novikoff rat hepatoma cells were three orders of magnitude more resistant (IC50 greater than 50 microM). Uridine transport was also inhibited by nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem, prenylamine and trifluoperazine, but only at similarly high concentrations in both human erythrocytes and the cell lines. IC50 values ranged from about 10 microM for nifedipine and about 20 microM for verapamil to more than 100 microM for diltiazem, prenylamine and trifluoperazine. The concentrations required for inhibition of nucleoside transport are several orders higher than those blocking Ca2+ channels. Lidoflazine competitively inhibited the binding of nitrobenzylthioinosine to high-affinity sites in human erythrocytes, but did not inhibit the dissociation of nitrobenzylthioinosine from these sites on the transporter as is observed with dipyridamole and dilazep.