1. The effects of No. 7943 on the Na+/Ca2+ exchange current and on other membrane currents were investigated in single cardiac ventricular cells of guinea-pig with the whole-cell voltage-clamp technique. 2. No. 7943 at 0.1-10 microM suppressed the outward Na+/Ca2+ exchange current in a concentration-dependent manner. The suppression was reversible and the IC50 value was approximately 0.32 microM. 3. No. 7943 at 5-50 microM suppressed also the inward Na+/Ca2+ exchange current in a concentration-dependent manner but with a higher IC50 value of approximately 17 microM. 4. In a concentration-response curve, No. 7943 raised the K(m)Ca2+ value, but did not affect the Imax value, indicating that No. 7943 is a competitive antagonist with external Ca2+ for the outward Na+/ Ca2+ exchange current. 5. The voltage-gated Na+ current, Ca2+ current and the inward rectifier K+ current were also inhibited by No. 7943 with IC50S of approximately 14, 8 and 7 microM, respectively. 6. In contrast to No. 7943, 3', 4'-dichlorobenzamil (DCB) at 3-30 microM suppressed the inward Na+/Ca2+ exchange current with IC50 of 17 microM, but did not affect the outward exchange current at these concentrations. 7. We conclude that No. 7943 inhibits the outward Na+/Ca2+ exchange current more potently than any other currents as a competitive inhibitor with external Ca2+. This effect is in contrast to DCB which preferentially inhibits the inward rather than the outward Na+/Ca2+ exchange current.