Abstract: C6 glioma cells were used as a model system to study the regulation of EAAC1-mediated Na+-dependent l-[3H]glutamate transport. Although a 30-min preincubation with forskolin had no effect on transport activity, preincubation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) increased transport activity two- to threefold. PMA caused a time-dependent and concentration-dependent increase in EAAC1-mediated l-[3H]glutamate transport activity. A 2-min preincubation with PMA was sufficient to cause more than a twofold increase in transport activity and the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide had no effect on the increase. These data suggest that this increase is independent of protein synthesis. The EC50 value of PMA for stimulation of transport activity was 80 nM. Kinetic analyses demonstrated that the increase in transport activity was due to a 2.5-fold increase in Vmax with no change in Km. PMA also increased the transport of the nonmetabolizable analogue, d-[3H]aspartate to the same extent. In parallel assays, PMA did not, however, increase Na+-dependent glycine transport activity in C6 glioma. The inactive phorbol ester 4α-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate, did not stimulate l-[3H]glutamate transport activity, and the protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine blocked the stimulation caused by PMA. Okadaic acid and cyclosporin A, which are phosphatase inhibitors, had no effect on the stimulation of transport activity caused by PMA. The Ca2+ ionophore A23187 did not act synergistically to increase PMA stimulation. In previous studies, PMA caused a rapid increase in amiloride-sensitive Na+/H+ transport activity in C6 glioma. In the present study, pre- and coincubation with amiloride had no effect on the stimulation of transport activity caused by PMA. These studies suggest that activation of protein kinase C causes a rapid increase in EAAC1-mediated transport activity. This rapid increase in Na+-dependent l-[3H]-glutamate transport activity may provide a novel mechanism for protection against acute insults to the CNS.