Evidence of a membrane potential dependence for enoxacin uptake by rat intestinal brush-border membrane vesicles has been found. The transient overshooting uptake of enoxacin disappeared in the voltage-clamped brush-border membrane vesicles in the presence of an outward H(+)-gradient. Momentary dissipation of the H(+)-gradient itself by carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP) did not affect the uptake of enoxacin. In contrast, enoxacin uptake was depressed by an interior positive K(+)-diffusion potential induced by valinomycin. Furthermore, not only the outward H(+)-gradient but also an inward Cl(-)-gradient caused a stimulating effect on enoxacin uptake, and the stimulation by the Cl(-)-gradient was dissipated by using voltage-clamped membrane vesicles. These results indicate that enoxacin transportation across the brush-border membrane is dependent on the ionic diffusion potential. On the other hand, neither Gly-Gly nor guanidine had any effect on enoxacin uptake by the membrane vesicles in the presence of an inward (for Gly-Gly) or outward (for guanidine) H(+)-gradient as a driving force for each transport system. Therefore, it seems that enoxacin transport through the intestinal epithelia does not participate in the carrier-mediated transport systems for Gly-Gly and guanidine.