The purpose of these studies was to document the existence of electrogenic Na+ uptake by membrane vesicles of rabbit alveolar type II (ATII) cells and the extent to which this process was inhibited by amiloride. ATII cells (>85% pure) were obtained by elastase digestion of lung tissue followed by Percoll centrifugation, and an enriched plasma membrane vescile fraction was obtained by differential centrifugation. 22Na+ uptake into these vesicles was measured in the presence of a negative inside membrane potential, produced by the addition of the K+ ionophore valinomycin (10 μM) after all external K+ was removed. Electrogenic (valinomycin-sensitive) Na+ uptake (ELNa) was defined as the difference in uptake in the presence and absence of valinomycin. ELNa, normalized per milligram protein, was twice as high across ATII cells than alveolar macrophage membrane vesicles, was inhibited by amiloride (50% inhibitory concentration = 10 μM), and was decreased in the presence of an outwardly directed proton gradient (pH(in) 6.8; pH(out) 7.8), suggesting that it was not mediated by Na+-H+ antiport. Furthermore, ELNa was equally inhibited by increasing concentrations of amiloride and benzamil but was more sensitive to 5-(N-ethyl-N-isopropyl)-2'-4'-amiloride in concentrations of 10-1,000 μM. These findings indicate that a fraction of Na+ transport across ATII membrane vesicles occurs through a conductive pathway, probably a channel, that has different sensitivity to amiloride and its analogues than the previously described epithelial high amiloride-affinity Na+ channel.